What makes one a Baptist?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by thegospelgeek, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. thegospelgeek

    thegospelgeek
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    Hello,
    I am Keith and this is my first topic on the forum. I have been reading the baptistboards a couple of weeks and commented on a few threads. I understand that this is a Baptist only forum, but pose the question;

    What makes one a baptist?

    I am an associate pastor at a Free Will Baptist Church. I do not believe Eternal Security in the way most Baptist do. I point this out not to discuss OSAS but just to demonstrate that we are "Baptist" with different doctrines. I do not believe predestination the way I understand most Baptist do. So, am I a Baptist? If you don't mind, please share What doctrine makes you a Baptist? I am interested in learning the different teachings of the Baptist Brothers and Sisters.
     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Welcome, Keith.

    I'll keep this short. Baptist identity is directly related to baptism. That's why we're called Baptists, or baptizers.

    1. Most people who identify themselves as Baptists hold to baptism of believers only. Believers have repented of their sins, believed on Jesus for their salvation and confessed him as Lord. Baptism has no saving efficacy, is not a sacrament.
    2. The baptism is immersion.
    3. The design is to demonstrate obedience and to picture the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ--in other words, the gospel in a nutshell. It also symbolizes the new believer's death to sin, to rise and walk in newness of life.
    4. Baptism is a pre-requesite to membership in a local church and a prerequisite to participating in the Lord's Supper.

    From there, Baptists spread out in a number of directions. But I have given you the basics.

    .
     
  3. Fred Moritz

    Fred Moritz
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    What is a Baptist?

    Sometimes people ask us what distinguishes Baptists from believers of other communions. British Baptist pastor Jack Hoad succinctly described what it means to be a Baptist with the statement: “It is the Biblical doctrine of the church, with an unqualified submission to scripture as the Word of God, which becomes the test of what is a Baptist church.”

    I don't know if Hoad is still alive. He has written a concise Baptist history entitled The Baptist. His above statement is from that book.

    Because we subscribe to the sole authority of Scripture, and apply that authority specifically to the church, we hold to:

    1. Believer's baptism instead of infant baptism.
    2. Regenerate church membership.
    3. Symbolic ordinances.
    4. The autonomy of the local church
    5. Separation of church and state.

    We do not hold these truths because we inherit them from a tradition, but because we find them in the Bible.
     
  4. Navymans

    Navymans
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    In his book "Bible In Eight Ages" L.D. Forman gives the best def of what a Baptist is that I have ran across yet. I would post it here but I must get to Church.
     
  5. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    What about the acronym?

    B
    A
    P
    T
    I
    S
    T


    I'll let you fill it out...
     
  6. Amy.G

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    He likes fried chicken? :D
     
  7. PeterM

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    I would whole-heatedly agree that our position on Baptism is certainly primary. I would contend that there are other, and more broad distinctives that baptists hold:

    1. The authority of the Scriptures
    2. The Lordship of Jesus Christ
    3. Regenerate church membership
    4. Church discipline
    5. Congregational Polity
    6. Ordinances (Baptism & Lord's Supper)

    There are certainly other distinctives that one could add to the list, but those seem to be historically Baptist. YMMV.
     
  8. Jim1999

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    Spurgeon listed these six Baptist distinctives:
    The Lordship of Jesus Christ.
    The supremacy of the New Testament.
    Regeneration the basis of church membership.
    The right of private judgement.
    Separation of civil and religious entities.
    Baptism by immersion.

    Most of us to-day would alter to baptism before church membership, but Spurgeon was quite insistent on open membership. He later changed about and required baptism before membership, but remained with open communion.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    Those of Northern Baptist extraction (IFB's, GARBC, CBA, etc) would hold to these distinctives

    Bible is sole authority of faith and practice
    Regenerated church membership
    Autonomy of the local church
    Priesthood of the believers
    Soul Liberty
    Immersion/Lord's Supper as only ordinances
    Separation of Church and State
    Separation Ethically and Ecclesiastically

    And believing you can lose your salvation does not stop you from being a Baptist . . or being wrong! :laugh:
     
  10. 4His_glory

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    Bible is the only rule of faith and practice
    Autonomy of the local church
    Priesthood of the believer
    Two church ordinances- immersion and the Lord's supper
    Individual soul liberty
    Separation of church and state
    Two church officers- pastor and deacon
    Saved and immersed church membership.

    At least that is what I was taught.
     
  11. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    Yep, and I think it is all biblical.
     
  12. SaggyWoman

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    What makes one a baptist?

    1. Always wanting to vote on things.
     
  13. annsni

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    I think we need to have a meeting on that. It will be a potluck and then we'll vote on it afterwards.

    I'll bring the fried chicken.
     
  14. SaggyWoman

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    With the food being present, all is accounted for.

    2. To be a Baptist, you must always have an offeratory prayer, special music, an invitation, a prayer to start the service, a prayer to end the service, male ushers, and deacons that rule.
     
  15. Jim1999

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    Come to think of it, I can't recall ever seeing a female usher in any church.

    I do get the impression that many baptists are somewhat gluttonous......

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  16. Navymans

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    I agree with that, and I will bring the rolls.
     
  17. thegospelgeek

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    Thanks for the comments. I was saved in a denomination that was not Baptist and they adhere to most of the points that were mentioned. The one that seems to be Baptist only is the Autonomy of the local church.

    We practice 3 ordinance so that take the 2 ordinances rule out.

    What is meant by the term "Soul Liberty"? I've never heard that phrase.
     

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