What is a Baptist?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by noregrets1987, May 24, 2007.

  1. noregrets1987

    noregrets1987
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    Hey all, so like many of you I have been raised in a christian home that had happened to attended a Baptist church. All of my life our family has gone to basically the same type, FBC, but the thing is (I'm now in college and attending a church all of my own) I don't fully understand the differences between Baptist and oh lets say Jewish or even Methodist. So basically what I'm asking here, What do Baptists believe, I am a saved christian and I beliveve that knowing God through Jesus chist as my personal savior makes me one, but wouldn't I be a christian no matter what type of church I attend?

    Any help or discuission here would be very intresting to me and would help!

    -noregrets1987
     
  2. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    What do Baptist believe? Oh, dear. You would get a different response from every Baptist that you asked.

    There are Missionary Baptists, American Baptists, Southern Baptists, Primitive Baptists, and more. And while each believes in the saving grace of Jesus Christ who died an atoning death for our sins, there are many differences among these groups. On major doctrinal issues and minor non-doctrinal issues.

    If you don't understand the difference between a Baptist and a Jew, I would say that you need some instruction from possibly your pastor, Sunday School teacher, or trusted Christian friend. To start with, Jews (by religon, not race) are not Christians. They are not saved because they do not believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, Savior, or the Messiah. They are still looking for the Messiah. Jews, like anyone else, can be saved.

    Finally, about your last comment. Yes, if you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and live for Him, then yes, you would be a Christian no matter what church you attended. Church attendance and church membership do NOT save you.

    However, not every church is a bible-believing church. Even some Baptist churches are dead as a corpse and dragging people to hell.

    Be careful, that as a Christian, you always join yourself with a group of bible-believing congregations that preach the truth of God's Word. How will you know if you are in such a church? Read the God's Word for yourself and compare what is being taught and preached with the Word.

    Does it have to be a Baptist church? No.
     
    #2 Scarlett O., May 24, 2007
    Last edited: May 24, 2007
  3. skypair

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    Bless you for asking and welcome to your new home away from home. :jesus: You'll find many wonderful people to help you here and I hope I am one.

    The "Baptist distinctives" are 1) belief in Christ as Savior and Lord (you already got one answer right! :laugh: ),

    2) Belief in the God-breathed, literal (insofar as the Bible doesn't indicate otherwise) interpretation of the Bible (Old and New Testament vs. Jewish only believe Old). Preaching is "line-by-line" from scripture as you probably already know.

    3) Belief in baptism as the first act of obedience to God and as the "confession"/testimony of your salvation,

    4) congregant-centered leadership (all believers are priests -- we have no priestly hierarchy like Catholics, etal.). Some Protestant denoms have elders who who vote and lead -- Baptist usually do "one man/woman one vote on budget, new pastor, etc.

    5) Smokers go out behind the concession stand to smoke after church and if a Baptist runs into a Baptist in a liquor store, they don't recognize each other! :laugh:

    Scripturally, we begin at Eph 4:3-6, our unity of the Spirit which is the basis of our grwoth in grace.

    I'm sure there will be others remembering what I left out but, once again, welcome.
    :wavey:
    skypair
     
  4. noregrets1987

    noregrets1987
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    What about the Holy trinity?

    The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit

    Is Jesus the same as God but he is the Earth form so he is considered a son but is conected and the only way to get to God is through Jesus, but If Jesus is God or Isn't God then What is the Holy Spirit?

    (In terms of the Baptists I believe)

    *Thanks for the welcome
     
  5. noregrets1987

    noregrets1987
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    Also, what are the different types of churches in the baptist? like what could I consider myself to be going to a fbc church all the time. am i what could be considered a southern or what?
     
  6. Zenas

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    Dear Noregrets:

    If you grew up in an FBC church, and I assume you mean First Baptist Church, it is probably Southern Baptist (SBC). This assumption is fortified by the fact that you seem to know very little about what Baptists believe. Southern Baptists have distinctive beliefs which are pretty much the same as other Baptists, but they don't talk about them much in church, and they do very little to pass them on to their children. They do have a strong heart for missions and winning the lost to Jesus Christ. Incidentally, FBC is not a fellowship of churches. In most instances, it is simply the oldest Baptist Church in town--thus the name "First."

    If you would like to learn about the core beliefs of the SBC, read the Baptist Faith and Message. It's an easy read, containing only 11 pages including the table of contents. You can find it here: http://www.sbc.net/bfm/
     
  7. Allan

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    You know very little about the SBC then and your opinion is grossly inaccurate, though it might be your limited experience with it.
    In every SBC Church I have ever attended the FIRST thing you learn is what that Local Church believes. THEN what the SBC veiws as a common concensus of all other SBC Churches relating to doctrine specifically believed as a common ground with the other participating CHurches, better known among us as the Baptist Faith and Message.
    You get this in our SBC schools, colleges, and seminaries. It is the first thing I teach in my Church - our doctrinal beliefs.

    An FBC can be either Independant Baptist Church or Southern Baptist Convention. In the South many of the FBC's are SBC in the North many are Independant.

    So next time when you give an answer try to be more factual and not spuing opinion as fact.


    That said, I would encourage noregrets1987 to read the the link provided as it is the most commonly held position of baptist groups with some modification here and there.



    NOREGRETS:

    Ask your pastor if they are SBC or Independant. Find out from the leadership what they hold as doctrinal truths. It is the doctrinal truths that seperate the many versions of Baptists in minor areas and a few in major ones. However, more specifically it reveals itself as a larger difference relating to other denominations and it is here we see differences on Major issues and a few on minor ones.
     
    #7 Allan, May 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2007
  8. Zenas

    Zenas
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    Allan says:

    .


    Allan, I have been a member of a 1,000+ member SBC church more than 30 years where I have taught Sunday School to adults more than 25 years and served as a deacon more than 18 years. Before that, I was a member of a small SBC church in another association for 21 years. I have several close relatives who have graduated from Baptist colleges. I have also been active in associational missions efforts, so my experience is not limited. We do a good job of teaching our young people the fundamentals of the Christian faith (mere Christianity), but we do a miserable job of teaching Baptist distinctives. I am convinced that is why so many of our young people grow up and leave to join other denominations. Also, I can't remember when one of our young people married someone of another denomination and the non Baptist joined our church. I've been beating my head against a wall for years and no one seems interested. In fact, I have in my personal acquaintenance not more than five or six people who are interested in topics like those discussed on this board.

    Having said that, I have no experience with Baptist churches outside the South and I didn't mean to imply that all First Baptist Churches are SBC.
     
  9. WaltRiceJr

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    To add to the list of Baptist distinctives, some pretty standard ones:

    The authority of Scripture. It was already mentioned that Baptists tend to believe in a historical literal interpretation of the Bible. (Preaching varies widely, and is not necessarily line-by-line.) Conservative Baptist churches hold that Scripture is the only sure rule of faith and practice, and the only text which may bind the conscience of a believer. Thus, a conservative Baptist would deny the authority (although not necessarily the truth) of church law and "creeds," referring instead all questions back to the Scriptures as authoritative.

    Saved church membership. Many other denominations include children in their membership roles, usually following infant baptism. Baptists believe that the local church is composed of regenerated (reborn) believers, thus membership is only for those who are saved, and usually only after believer's baptism.

    The autonomy of the local church. Along with the "congregant-centered leadership," Baptist churches hold strongly to the concept of congregational autonomy. Each local church is not subject to the rule of others from outside the church -- there are no bishops, no denominational courts, etc. Baptist denominations are associations of churches who work together for common purposes, missions for instance. But each church is free to function, believe, and worship as it sees best.
     
  10. noregrets1987

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    Wow, lot of information at once kind of. What I will do is next time I am at the church I attend I will ask them what type of church and what the main beliefs are. Perhaps in person it would be easier to answer.
     
  11. Jkdbuck76

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  12. noregrets1987

    noregrets1987
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    That's, actually a good assumption. Cause I've been attending church for years and honestly I can't say I know the standard basis of what Baptists down to the bottom line do believe yet fully.
     
  13. DHK

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    Here is what I have learned and considered as the Baptist Distinctives:

    1. Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and doctrine.
    2. Baptized and regenerated church membership.
    3. Autonomy of the local church.
    4. Priesthood of the believer
    5. Soul liberty.
    6. Baptism by immersion and the Lord's Supper are the only two ordinances of the local church.
    7. Separation of church and state.
    8. Separation ecclesiastiacally and personally.
     
  14. skypair

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    I'm gonna get into what this Baptist believes a little bit here. Yes, Jesus is God. Here's the "scoop" on the trinity:

    God created us in His own image, triune -- body, soul, and spirit.

    But there are 3 of Him because He decided to make His triune Persona into 3 Persons -- 1) His body would be Jesus,

    2) His soul would be Himself (what in us is our conscience and which rules over our spirits and flesh), and

    3) His Spirit (His mind, emotions, and will) would be His Holy Spirit.

    Does that not make it sooo easy? :thumbs:

    So now that we are saved and His Holy Spirit indwells us, we're talking about we have the "mind of Christ [and God]" which is precisely what 1Cor 2:15 says!!

    Now the neat end result of all this is that once God has redeemed all His people of all time, He (in the New Earth) will resume being one Person just like we are. Then God will be "all in all" rather than, as we have it today, Christ "all in all."

    skypair
     
  15. skypair

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    Another thing Baptists get excited about is the pretribulation rapture. This is tied in with their further belief that God has administered the earth in 7 periods of time called "dispensations." In each, God gave man a "test" (say, the apple), man failed (Adam ate), God began a new program with new rules (conscience became the governing rule over man), and God protected man from Satan taking over planet earth during man's weakness (sent the flood for instance).

    Anyway, the next era is the tribulation for 7 years, the Millennial Kingdom of Christ for 1000 and then God will reign eternally here in the New Earth/New Heavens/New Jerusalem.

    skypair
     
  16. PreachTREE

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    Is this Maranatha's BRAPSISS Model?
     
  17. WaltRiceJr

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    A lot of Baptists believe "dispensational theology" (Ryrie, et al.) and in a pre-tribulation rapture, but I don't think these can be called distincitives of the Baptist faith.

    Indeed, most Baptist confessions and statements of faith are intentionally vague on eschatology and dispensationalism, because it is not a subject that is generally agreed upon by "Baptists."

    I like the way the Baptist Faith & Message (SBC) puts it:

     
  18. rsr

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    First, Baptists are orthodox in the broad sense of the word: They accept the fundamental dogmas of the Christian faith , i.e. the Trinity, the Incarnation, resurrection, etc. (More or less the principles of the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creek and the Chalcedon formulation.) In addition, the Bible is the final authority on faith and practice.


    Baptists have traditionally been defined by church polity, not soteriology, eschatology or other doctrine.


    Those principles include that the church is made up only of regenerate, converted members (ruling out covenant theology and paedobaptism) and that each church is autonomous (which prohibits a denominational hierarchy).

    Immersion is the accepted mode of baptism, which is a command of Christ. It, like the Lord's Supper, is an ordinance to be followed, but the ordinances do not impart or aid the realization of grace.

    Further, Baptists have believed in the priesthood of the believer and soul competency. Each soul must stand before God solely on the basis of what Christ has done for us; no other person - parent, priest, pastor or friend - can interpose between an individual and his or her God.

    Because of this, Baptists have championed religious liberty and separation of church and state. The state has no power to compel belief nor force outward conformity to religion. Baptists believe religious liberty is a God-given right; we do not believe simply in tolerance. Each individual is responsible alone to God for his beliefs or lack of them; when the state attempts to regulate belief or practice, it is treading upon forbidden ground. Baptists reject the notion that the church needs secular support to carry out its mission.

    "A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power. (Baptist Faith and Message)"

    Unlike the Anabaptists-Mennonites, Baptists have not shunned civil society. Though civil society is, like man, fallen and imperfect, Baptists believed they have been called to interact with the larger society for the glory of God. Thus they have been involved in secular activities - including government - that our cousins have shunned. Neither have Baptists, by and large, been pacifists; war is evil, but it is not the greatest evil, and there are occasions when evils must be resisted by force.

    I have left out some of the old ingredients in the BAPTIST acrostic - such as two ordinances and two offices (pastor and deacon) - because there have been historic disagreements about those items (you can find four ordinances in the Philadelphia Baptist Confession, and Baptists - whether they admit it or not - have differed over the exact role of pastors, elders and deacons.)
     
  19. rsr

    rsr
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    No, it really doesn't help at all. You have assumed that man's makeup must reflect the Trinity - with no solid reason to believe that. The Bible can be quoted to show man as a dichotomous or trichotomous being - or even something else.

    Furthermore, orthoodox theology never assumes that "there are 3 of Him because He decided to make His triune Persona into 3 Persons." The three Persons are fundamental to the nature of God and not something that He willed or created.
     
  20. rsr

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    Absolutely.

    In addition, the popularity on dispensational premillenialism is a fairly recent position among Baptists. Many of the Baptist leaders of earlier years were postmillenial or amillenial.
     

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