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Author Topic: So You're a Baptist—What Might That Mean?  (Read 642 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jetavan
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« on: June 30, 2011, 11:47:28 AM »

Mark Noll's review of two new books on Baptists:

"Almost inevitably, the very principles that Baptists shared made it difficult for Baptists to agree among themselves. And so within less than a century of organized Baptist existence, differences emerged in response to a number of questions that led to the formation of separate Baptist denominations: Was the atonement universal as Generals claimed or specific as Particulars urged? Should adults who were baptized also receive the laying on of hands? Should the day for public worship be the Sabbath/seventh day (Saturday) or the first day/Resurrection (Sunday)? Should local leaders accept the validity of adult baptism done elsewhere? Should they require the re-baptism of those who had received infant baptism? Should Baptist fellowships have confessions of faith? Should churches follow Christ's command literally to wash one another's feet? Should Baptists take part in politics or hold aloof? Should conferences of Baptist churches or leaders of those conferences be given any authority within local congregations? For each of these questions, and for many more that would come later, sincere believers were able to cite biblical chapter and verse that were completely convincing to themselves but that did not convince other Baptists."

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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2011, 04:13:18 PM »

Well, I came from being Baptist for a long time (even being a missionary for a Baptist group) and there are indeed, alot of disagreements. Lots of baptists believe in not being a member of a convention because they're afraid of eventually acting like Catholics (the arch enemy of Southern Baptists  Roll Eyes ). Then you have folks like the Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist World Alliance which group a bunch of them together. However, they really dont look at each other as if members from one group arent christian enough or anything.....its more of sharing worship materials, conventions, meetings, mission boards, which camp to send the kiddies, etc.

Really and truly, alot of the issues that you mentioned depend locally. The church I was a member of was a member of the SBC but pretty much listened to nothing of what they decreed. Simply put, these councils hold no real weight over theological issues at all. Some agree, some dont. Other issues like laying on of hands, politics, etc are really on a church by church basis. You got to remember that baptists really are only held together by a very small list of beliefs. Everything else is fair game. For every church that says they should not be in politics because "being not of the world" etc, you'll see 5 city councilmen and a state senator in another church. Even their dogma of "You must ask Jesus into your heart and be your personal saviour to attain Heaven" isnt a concrete thing in the more "liberal" Baptist churches. Of all the denominations, the Baptists really can not be pigeonholed into a core set of beliefs that are applied to all outside of maybe 3 that I can think of off the top of my head.

Some things no Baptists believe (that Im aware of) like infant baptism, concrete authority of a body outside the local chruch, or rebaptisim as a necessity.....in fact most Baptist churches dont believe baptism is necessary for salvation. Some things like Saturday sabbaths really arent practiced as they would look at you and ask if you're a 7th day adventist.

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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2011, 04:22:53 PM »

Believers baptism, the five solas, complete autonomy of the local congregation, inerrancy and infallibility of scripture (even though I remeber David Young saying on here that "inerrancy" may or may not be necessary, anti-clericalism, ordinaces (they don't call them sacraments and are limited to baptism and the Lord's Supper) are outward signs of an already existing inward faith, literal (scientific, historical, etc) interpretation of scripture all seem to be pretty common to most if not all Baptists.

Perhaps our resident Baptist can provide some better insight into answering your question.
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2011, 04:26:58 PM »

Oh yeah, sola is a guarantee...however if you go around saying Sola Scriptura in Baptist churches in most areas (especially in God's Country, a.k.a. The South), they'll just ask, "Oh yeah? Are their tacos pretty good?"  Tongue

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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2011, 06:15:40 PM »

Some things like Saturday sabbaths really arent practiced as they would look at you and ask if you're a 7th day adventist.
7th-Day Baptists do exist.
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If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2011, 10:10:27 AM »

Quote
7th-Day Baptists do exist.

Oh I know they exist, but the Baptists I know joke around about them being 7th Day Adventists with a better buffet line Smiley

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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2011, 12:24:02 PM »

Just to note with all jokes (even poorly delivered ones) aside, 7th day baptists are a major minority. I have seen in alot of circles alot of Baptists becoming more accepting of Messianics too.

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David Young
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2011, 03:10:28 PM »

Believers baptism, the five solas

Baptism (yes), faith (yes), grace (yes), scripture (yes); sorry, what are the other two?

Quote
, complete autonomy of the local congregation,
Yes - though in practice this has been rather eroded among some churches here in Britain.  Sad

Quote
inerrancy and infallibility of scripture (even though I remeber David Young saying on here that "inerrancy" may or may not be necessary,

It depends on the definition of those words. If by infallible you mean "can't lead you astray, won't fail in its purpose", then yes; if by inerrant you mean the "original autographs" were without error or discrepancy of any kind, including historical, scientific - then this is not the majority view, though many do hold it.

Quote
anti-clericalism,

Not quite sure what you mean by this: it seems to be more a Brethren principle. We have full-time, paid ministers who usually perform the baptisms, weddings, funerals, Communion services. Some churches might have drifted into this as a matter of principle (though I cannot tell what principle) and feel it to be improper for a 'layman' to perform them. But we have no priests as a separate caste.

Quote
ordinances (they don't call them sacraments and are limited to baptism and the Lord's Supper) are outward signs of an already existing inward faith

Some of us use the word "sacrament", meaning an outward sign of an inward, spiritual grace or blessing, and believe that baptism and the Lord's Supper do convey these to those who - yes - come to them with faith. But the word 'ordinance' is probably preferred to 'sacrament'.

Quote
Perhaps our resident Baptist can provide some better insight into answering your question.

Hope that helps.

Your resident Baptist,
DMY
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« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 03:12:07 PM by David Young » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2011, 10:33:37 AM »

Believers baptism, the five solas

Baptism (yes), faith (yes), grace (yes), scripture (yes); sorry, what are the other two?

Christ alone - denies intercession of saints

Glory to God alone - denies veneration of saints, relics, reverence toward clergy

Quote
Quote
anti-clericalism,

Not quite sure what you mean by this: it seems to be more a Brethren principle. We have full-time, paid ministers who usually perform the baptisms, weddings, funerals, Communion services. Some churches might have drifted into this as a matter of principle (though I cannot tell what principle) and feel it to be improper for a 'layman' to perform them. But we have no priests as a separate caste.

I simply mean there is no sacramental priesthood who properly receives their authority as ministers through ordination, and that while in practice ministerial responsiblities may be generally left to an appointed minister, but in theory anyone can preside over them. To gice an example, when you are away from your congregation, you may appoint anyone to preside over the celebration of Communion, when while my priest is out of town for any reason (he recently went on a trip to guatemala to minister to convent that runs an orphanage for example), another ordained priest must be found to preside (with permission of our local bishop) over the Eucharist, without which we can't have more than a brief prayer service with some readings, hymns, and possibly some instruction (sermon for lack of a better word) from someone knowledgable enough to speak on the subject of the day's readings/commemorations.
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David Young
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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2011, 01:08:06 PM »

Christ alone - denies intercession of saints

Glory to God alone - denies veneration of saints, relics, reverence toward clergy

Yes. You are quite right. That is what we believe. Or at least, almost right. The clergy, or ministers, should definitely be respected; but I assume that by "reverence" you mean rather more than the honour we accord to pastors for their work's sake.

Quote
there is no sacramental priesthood who properly receives their authority as ministers through ordination, and that while in practice ministerial responsiblities may be generally left to an appointed minister, but in theory anyone can preside over them. To gice an example, when you are away from your congregation, you may appoint anyone to preside over the celebration of Communion,

Again, yes - you are right. Or at least, almost right. It depends what is meant by ordination. The principle that was stated earlier, that each local church is autonomous, means that its pastor/minister/elders (call them what you will) are appointed by the local church. That could be called ordination, and often is.

Sadly (in my view, otherwise I wouldn't be a proper Baptist) there has been something of drift away from this principle, no doubt traceable ultimately to the ambient influence of Roman Catholic theology, and some people will regard one man as properly ordained and another as not, according to what has been done to him in a wider context than the local church.

Some appointments/ordinations are accompanied by the laying-on of hands (this happened to me when I was appointed pastor at Llay), others do not tend to use this. But we do not see it as conferring any sort of priesthood. Rather it is a public, visible symbol expressing the identification of the church as a body with the man's appointment to office.

We do not see it in denominational terms, though again some would take a narrower view. For example, tomorrow I am 'doing' the Communion service at a Congregational Church; but my Bible Baptist friend from California, when he first came from America, wouldn't even take communion in a different sort of Baptist church - though he would gladly preach to us.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2011, 01:08:25 PM by David Young » Logged

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