Why are Baptists leaving?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by nunatak, May 30, 2008.

  1. nunatak

    nunatak
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    Quoted from gb93433.

    I have to ask, is this true? How could a person who believes in salvation by grace alone depart from this to enter into heresy? This may seem naive, the whole "if they were not part of us they would not have left us." I mean come on, I came out of heresy, so I find this a BIG deal.

    I will say, before I left heresy, the church I was attending was joined by a former Baptist pastor and his family. Again, if he had a Biblical understanding of Sola Gratia, how could he had left?

    What am I missing? Do not all baptists believe sola gratia, sola fide? Do some want to be part baptist, part something else, i.e. pentecostal, mormon, etc?
     
  2. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Well for starters I don't believe charismatics or pentecostals are heretics without knowing them.

    I have no clue about the issue, people have varying reasons. Maybe the big thing is that most faithful Baptists in our pews don't understand theology and what makes them a Baptist. Just a thought. I am probably wrong :)
     
  3. Tom Bryant

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    I wouldn't equate pentecostals with mormons, either. I agree with "preachinJesus" that pastors don't do enough doctrinal teaching and preaching.

    But just because a person is a member of a Baptist church, it doesn't mean they are really saved. So they leave, like the Scriptures say, "because they were not of us"
     
  4. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
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    The reason so many baptists fall easy prey to mormons and JW's is they are not properly discipled. They are not taught basic Bible doctrine and are easily caught in cult traps. In addition Baptists and most protestants are poorly trained in apologetics.
     
  5. nunatak

    nunatak
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    Why aren't baptists properly discipled? Why aren't they taught basic Bible doctrine? Why aren't baptists trained in apologetics?
     
  6. donnA

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    Because they never really believed.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    For one you have to get them to show up to a discipleship class. Second serious discipleship requires commitment to personal study. Third a large portion of preaching that goes on in churches is feel good non theological fluff. We have set aside scripture that tells us to preach the word.
     
  8. donnA

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    We talked about this several times, it's not that learning opportunities don't exist, but that you can't get people to attend, and then they will not do really study, they either don't know how or don't want to know how.
     
  9. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    On this we agree. Let's celebrate our agreement! :)

    The ironic thing is right now we have more resources available to us than ever before about discipleship. If you want to you never have to leave the comfort of your room or house to plug into a vertible library of discipleship materials. (Not that I am suggesting that, I believe discipleship is more than books and has lots to do with involvement with others.) It's a priorities issue. The Church is clearly not on their priorities.
     
  10. Revmitchell

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    [​IMG]

    Well...all this is a symptom and not the problem. We have condensed the gospel to a 5 minute presentation, we manipulate them to get on their knees after this short gospel, coherce them to be at church on sunday morning, guilt them into coming down the isle during the alter call and then claim to have a new convert. The true result is we are filling our membership role up with lost people. True converts will have a heart for God.
     
    #10 Revmitchell, May 30, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2008
  11. tank1976

    tank1976
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    I agree with you about the unlimited number of resources. To many Sunday Christians also.
     
  12. mparkerfd20

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    AMEN Brother!!! We need more preachers, and for that matter more Christians, to take a stand for biblical truth and rid our churches of this easy believism heresy.
     
  13. windcatcher

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    I think there are several reasons why Baptists are leaving their churches, and why church goers are leaving churches in general:

    The Bible gives us some reasons people leave; they left their first love, they become cold in their spiritual walk, their membership was superficial to begin with, they become entangled with the concerns of the world and involvement with their lives:

    Also, some are disenchanted when the relationships within the church are as love-less as the relationships they experience elsewhere. The hidden bond of Christ's love isn't there. I see it most everywhere I go..... and being widowed and living alone for 13 years now... perhaps I am more sensitive than some to this 'relationship' thing between people who identify themselves as 'Christians'.

    Jesus simplified all the commandments of God into two simple requests....love God with your all, love others (and here there is a special focus on brethern). Want friends? Show one's self friendly! That doesn't mean compromise: that doesn't mean tolerate bad behavior: That doesn't mean to continue associations with those of bad manners.

    It's not loving when people reduce their differences of opinions to name calling, characteriszations, or accusations, and such distracts from the discussion. Whispering criticisms about a person to others is not Christ-love-like. The Bible teaches how carefully we should deal with disputes and behaviors. As Christians, we should already realize that we have an adversary standing ready to deceive, discourage, and cause us to stumble: there should be carefulness in dealing with discussions of different opinions and viewpoints not to join the adversary and judge, and not to falsely accuse others beyond what they say: In many or most cases, if lovingly asked to explain further what a person means.... we might find it was not what they said but how our brains interpreted it...... reading more or less.... than what they meant.

    One real problem I think is that we are farther away from 'the NT church' than ever: The early church met in the homes: The early church was filled with hospitality and sharing of life experiences....not a study plan from a text book: Christ was the center focus and the Spirit of God was the maestro which led. The early church gained its sense of order from directing appealing to God to lead and encouraging obediance to His Spirit and not some pre-fabed bullentin. The early church was filled with people in close association and bonded to each other as they searched the scriptures together, both within and without the group to see what the scriptures said and they brought together in their discussions and meetings.

    Where was the building called a 'church'? Pagans had their temples and monuments and alters to their gods..... but the early church had no concept..... and met to worship God in simplicity. Constantine brought in the buildings, the acoutrements of furnishings and adorning beautifications and images and the separation of the worshippers from those who led the assembly by the wearing of robes, crowns and other trappings. Worship, study and prayer were in the home. To early Christians the church was inside each person, and each professing believer was a part of the body of Christ. "Church was not where they went, church was wherever they were..... and wherever 2 or more were gathered together Christ was in the midst, whether they met in a home, on a street.... or in todays vernacular....in a shoppig mall or coffee shop. Discipleship was not a class which met while ohers were meeting elsewhere....... Early NT discipleship involved those already grounded in the faith, relating to and mentoring a few in their walk, from milk to meat, self examination and refining, identifying and exercising the gifts and fruit development to service. There was respect for those in authority.... and there was respect of the younger for the life's experience of the older's or elders.

    Sorry that I don't have the answers: No doubt....it is we who must accept responsibility.... not the building where we meet: We need a vision: we need experiential faith and sharing and bonding with each other in joy and in crisis and in faith. We need instruction and self examination.... not generalizations and judgement. We need discipleship which is closer than a classroom and book: We need fellowship and accountabilty: We need repentance taught as part of our daily walk and cleansing. We need the concept that we don't dress to go to church.... we are the church.... and when we leave the doors on Sunday morning after meeting our fiends at the First Baptist Church of USA, the church is alive within us going everywhere we go.
     
  14. David Lamb

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    Is it known whether the people concerned were actually members of baptist churches, or just attended services? If the latter, they cannot truly be said to be leaving a baptist church.Here in the UK, attendance at baptist Sunday Services is down 6% since 1989 (compared with Church of England, down 31%, Methodist, down 44%, United Reformed - that is, the denomination formed when the Presbyterians merged with the Congregationalists in 1972, not "reformed doctrinally" - down 53%). Actual church membership, though down, is much more steady, though.
     
  15. ajg1959

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    Amen!!!!

    This is why I belong to a small Independent Baptist Church now. We are a small congregation but our members are diligent in the faith and in spreading the gospel. My pastor goes out of his way to make sure that converts know exactly what they are doing, and then they are discipled to grow in their faith, not just take up space on a pew.

    I am not saying that all big churches are wrong, I am just saying that as a small church we can take more time to minister to people as an individual as opposed to the full time burden of just maintaining a large congregation.

    My pastor couldnt care less if someone joins his church or if they choose another, it is not about numbers. But he is concerned that they have a true conversion unto salvation, regardless of where they attend.

    I knew a pastor about 5 years ago who was an associate pastor at a large church. The church was so big that they had to seperate into two services to seat everybody. One Sunday morning ( I was there and witnessed this) he was so emotional and upset that he couldnt preach the sermon he had prepared. He told us what had happened the past week , and it went like this:

    There is a low income HUD highrise apartment building right across the street from the church. The front doors of the church and the highrise are not more than 200 ft apart. He got a call from some folks that he didnt know saying that their relative that lived in the highrise had died and would the pastor preach his funeral. The pastor asked why him, since he didnt even know the man. The family said that the man had been homebound for 28 years in that apartment, but was a member of the church. This floored the pastor, so he checked the records, and sure enough, not only was the man a member, but he had sent 10% of his social security check each month across the street to the church FOR THE LAST 28 YEARS WITHOUT FAIL!!!!!

    This was a faithful member of a church that was so big that they didnt know he existed, and he was only 200 ft from the front door. This crushed the pastor, and he has never seemed quite the same since that happened.

    My point is that the faithful members of a church are more important than church growth. I would rather worship with 10 people with the diligence and faith of this homebound man, than with 1000 folks who dont even know each other, much less minister to each other.

    Perhaps, the folks leaving the Baptist churches are not being ministered to on an individual basis.

    Just my thoughts.

    AJ
     
    #15 ajg1959, May 31, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2008

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