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Can I become a Baptist?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by John R, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. John R

    John R New Member

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    Hello, I ask this maybe silly question beecause I'm not sure. A little back ground, I am part of a group who have just split from a IFCA church. Our pastor (a good Baptist) is working to plant a new Baptist Church. I am part of a group of men who are working on the new churche's by-laws and constitution, big job by itself. My problem is do my beliefs fit in with the baptist beliefs. 1. I am a no point Calvinist. 2. And it seems by reading many different Baptist Church Constitutions that the baptist think deacons are God gifted rulers. Deacons are servants not rulers, this is what split our chuch to start with. I believe in the position of Deacon but not the office of, nor board of. Can I honestly work to start a new Chuch if the pastor and men want a Office of Deacons? Other Questions to follow.
     
  2. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

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    Calvinism and constitutions are not what makes a church Baptist. Categorically, a church is Baptist if it adheres to the Baptist Distinctives as matters of faith and practice.
     
  3. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member

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    Baptist churches in or out of any convention are autonomous. Baptism by immersion is the primary distinctive. You are correct deacons are not rulers nor administrators.
     
  4. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>

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    The NT church has two officers: pastor and deacon. To say that a deacon is an office is not to say that they are rulers. There are a good many Baptists who reject that.

    As for Calvinism, it depends on your church's doctrinal statement.
     
  5. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    1 Timothy 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

    1 Timothy 3:10 And let these be first proved, then let them minister, being without charge against them. (Darby)

    Interestingly enough there is no office of a deacon (or even of a pastor for that fact). You won't find the word "office" in the Greek in all of 1Tim.3. The word just isn't there. It is an Old English word that has changed meaning through 400 years of time from its old meaning of "service" to its current meaning of "authority." The current meaning is opposite of the Biblical meaning. The very word diakonos (deacon) simply means "servant."
    There is no such thing as a board of deacons. It is Biblical to have deacons in the sense of servants, but not a board to rule over the pastor.
    The pastor is the head of the church, accountable to Christ. That is the way that Christ set up the church.
     
  6. saturneptune

    saturneptune New Member

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    Deacons running the church is a myth. They are servants. The governing authority rests with the congregation. If a local church wants represenative government, they need a board of elders, some a few Baptist churches around here have them.

    Phrases like "deacons ran off the pastor" or "if deacon Jones says it, thats the way it is going to be" or "deacons run the church" would never be allowed in the church in which I worship, and IMO, are unBiblical.
     
    #6 saturneptune, Aug 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2009
  7. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member

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  8. EdSutton

    EdSutton New Member

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    :thumbsup:

    Amen!

    Ed
     
  9. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    Yes he is.
    1 Peter 5:1-4 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

    He is our Chief Shepherd; shepherd meaning pastor.
    We are his under-shepherds; pastors serving under Christ, and accountable to him. Peter writes to the elders, the pastors (Acts 20:17,28), to feed the flock of God, to take oversight of them. Each pastor is accountable for his own flock. Each pastor is accountable to Christ. Nowhere does it say that they are accountable to their deacons.
     
  10. Brandon C. Jones

    Brandon C. Jones New Member

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    Hi John,

    Welcome to the Baptist Board. I can only imagine how difficult it is to craft a church's constitution and bylaws. I hope this goes well even if it takes time and many adjustments.

    Calvinism is not a Baptist distinctive, so that shouldn't bar you from joining the Baptists. While congregational church governments with a deacon board and a lead pastor abound among American churches, Baptist and baptistic alike, such a form of church polity is also not a Baptist distinctive. For example, our Baptist church has elders and deacons. There may be reasons out there that would keep you from being a Baptist, but these are not among them.

    Of course, the others who are starting the church may want a form of polity that has a deacon board, and I can't say for you whether you can honestly help start a church with such a polity. That's for you to prayerfully sort out yourself.

    Blessings on your new work,
    Brandon
     
  11. donnA

    donnA New Member

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    You have to actually BE baptist to post in this forum
     
  12. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member

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    "Baptist" is a pretty broad term. In theological history the defining doctrinal distinctive is baptism by immersion following salvation. Many of the beliefs of the early Baptists (English Separatists) are similiar to where we are but there is room for movement.

    One other significant belief is that there are two ordinances that aren't salvific. Baptism and the Lord's Supper. That is, honestly pretty much it doctrinally.
     
  13. Dale-c

    Dale-c Active Member

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    AS far as calvinism goes, some baptists agree with wesleyans and some baptist agree with Presbyterians, some with Methodists etc.

    Adult baptism and baptist ecclesiology are the two main points.

    I would suggest you read an older baptist confession though.

    This is the confession for our church:
    http://www.vor.org/truth/1689/1689bc00.html

    There are of course others as well.
    CHeck out the Baptist Faith and Message for a more modern statement.
     
  14. Harold Garvey

    Harold Garvey New Member

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    I believe that is just waht he's saying he is despite the naysayers.
     
  15. John R

    John R New Member

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    A big thank you to all that replied, You have been a help. As for me being a baptist. We are working with the Baptist church planters so we have a ways to go before any of us really can be members. But We have a baptist name. So I attend services at a Baptist church, am helping writing the by-laws for a baptist church and even filled the pulpit last week, so I think that makes me as close to being a Baptist as you can get. LOL
    My problem is the TWO OFFICES. But I think if we make is clear that the Deacons are servants of the church we can write a true bible centered constitution. Pray for the Men of the Community Regular Baptist Church that what we do will be the will of God.
     
  16. Dale-c

    Dale-c Active Member

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    John, might I suggest you read various church constitutions from other churches?
    Our church for instance does not consider deacons to be ruling officers.
    We do however have a plurality of elders.

    Also, there was a good book I read on church government I would recommend. It had 5 different views in a friendly debate format.
     
  17. donnA

    donnA New Member

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    His profile says otherwise, which one is true and which is not true?
     
  18. dcorbett

    dcorbett Active Member

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    I am a member of an IFB church, and our deacons are servants...they assist the Pastor, who IS in charge of the church.
     
  19. Jim1999

    Jim1999 <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

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    I would have the pastor in charge of the spiritual leadership of the local church, but not the "boss" of that local church. I still believe in the Lordship of Jesus as the first Baptist distinctive.

    In to-day's standards, I fear that even Mr. Spurgeon would be excluded from some Baptist Churches!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  20. John R

    John R New Member

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    I Sorry I forgot to change my profile. To DonnA> What's more important? Being a born again believer or a Baptist? In Crirst's Love John
     
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