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Baptist Diversity

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by ellis, Oct 13, 2001.

  1. ellis

    ellis New Member

    Sep 14, 2001
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    Having read many of the threads here, and then seeing the appearance of a couple of lists of differing categories of Baptist groups in this country, it is very clear that the term "Baptist" describes people and churches that are significantly different from each other in theology and practice. In fact, there are Baptists that would find themselves more compatible with believers in other denominations than within their own branch of Christianity. I had always known that this diversity existed, being able to observe clear differences between Baptists I myself have encountered, but never realized the scope of the diversity.

    So my question is, what are the "distinctives", in theology or practice, that are common to all and which make us "Baptist" as opposed to being something else. Is there anything that all "Baptists" hold in common? I have my own opinion, but I'd really like to see what those who post on this board have to say, since it apparently represents a pretty vast diversity of Baptist groups.
  2. Joey M

    Joey M New Member

    Sep 22, 2001
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    We all hold that the Word of God, the Bible is the final authority on and in all things.
    We hold to the Trinity (I hope!)
    That all scripture was given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit to the original authors.
    That Christ was born of a virgin, walked a sinnless life, died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and arose the third day victorious over death, hell and the grave.
    That the New Testament Church is a local visible body of believers (I think we all hold to this!)
    These are some, maybe someone else could post some more.

    Oh yea, and every called Baptist preacher loves fried chicken and bannanna pudding!

    God speed.
  3. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn New Member

    Jun 30, 2000
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    Well, I believe the Bible is the final WRITTEN authority.

    Here are other Baptist distinctives which differentiate Baptists from many other groups:
    Soul competency
    Priesthood of the believer
    ABSOLUTE autonomy of the local church
    Separation of church and state
    Symbolism of the ordinances
    Laity may administer the ordinances
  4. mark

    mark <img src =/mark.gif>

    Jul 3, 2000
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    I always thought the GARBC's list, using the word BAPTIST was good.
    Biblical Authority
    The Bible is the final authority in all matters of belief and practice because the Bible is inspired by God and bears the absolute authority of God Himself. Whatever the Bible affirms, Baptists accept as true. No human opinion or decree of any church group can override the Bible. Even creeds and confessions of faith, which attempt to articulate the theology of Scripture, do not carry Scripture's inherent authority.
    2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:20, 21

    Autonomy of the Local Church
    The local church is an independent body accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the church. All human authority for governing the local church resides within the local church itself. Thus the church is autonomous, or self-governing. No religious hierarchy outside the local church may dictate a church's beliefs or practices. Autonomy does not mean isolation. A Baptist church may fellowship with other churches around mutual interests and in an associational tie, but a Baptist church cannot be a "member" of any other body.
    Colossians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5, 19, 23

    Priesthood of the Believer
    "Priest" is defined as "one authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God." Every believer today is a priest of God and may enter into His presence in prayer directly through our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ. No other mediator is needed between God and people. As priests, we can study God's Word, pray for others, and offer spiritual worship to God. We all have equal access to God--whether we are a preacher or not.
    1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 5:9, 10

    Two Ordinances
    The local church should practice two ordinances: (1) baptism of believers by immersion in water, identifying the individual with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, and (2) the Lord's Supper, or communion, commemorating His death for our sins.
    Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32

    Individual Soul Liberty
    Every individual, whether a believer or an unbeliever, has the liberty to choose what he believes is right in the religious realm. No one should be forced to assent to any belief against his will. Baptists have always opposed religious persecution. However, this liberty does not exempt one from responsibility to the Word of God or from accountability to God Himself.
    Romans 14:5, 12; 2 Corinthians 4:2; Titus 1:9

    Saved, Baptized Church Membership
    Local church membership is restricted to individuals who give a believable testimony of personal faith in Christ and have publicly identified themselves with Him in believer's baptism. When the members of a local church are believers, a oneness in Christ exists, and the members can endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
    Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 12:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 4:3

    Two Offices
    The Bible mandates only two offices in the church--pastor and deacon. The three terms--"pastor," "elder," and "bishop," or "overseer"--all refer to the same office. The two offices of pastor and deacon exist within the local church, not as a hierarchy outside or over the local church.
    1 Timothy 3:1-13; Acts 20:17-38; Philippians 1:1

    Separation of Church and State
    God established both the church and the civil government, and He gave each its own distinct sphere of operation. The government's purposes are outlined in Romans 13:1-7 and the church's purposes in Matthew 28:19 and 20. Neither should control the other, nor should there be an alliance between the two. Christians in a free society can properly influence government toward righteousness, which is not the same as a denomination or group of churches controlling the government.
    Matthew 22:15-22; Acts 15:17-29
  5. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator

    Jul 4, 2000
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    Here is a recasting of the GARBC list:<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Bible is the Only rule for faith and practice<LI>Regenerate, Immersed Church Membership<LI>Autonomy and Independence of the Local Church<LI>Priesthood of the Believer<LI>Separation of Church and State<LI>Immersion of Believers and the Lord's Supper only two ordinances<LI>Separation Ethical and Ecclesiastical[/list]Aka BRAPSIS

    [ October 16, 2001: Message edited by: The Squire ]
  6. John Wells

    John Wells New Member

    Jun 21, 2001
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    B - Baptism by immersion or Believing membership
    A - Autonomy of the local church
    P - Priesthood of the believer
    T - Two ordinances (baptism / Lord's Supper)
    I - Individual soul liberty
    S - Separation of church and state
    T - Two officers.
  7. Ars

    Ars New Member

    May 1, 2001
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Joey M:
    Oh yea, and every called Baptist preacher loves fried chicken and bannanna pudding!

    Oh so very true!
  8. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn New Member

    Jun 30, 2000
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    Mark and John--the apostles? ;)

    Yep, I like that; those are good lists.