Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Southern Baptist Robin Foster On Simply Being Baptist

Here is a good quote from Robin Foster from SBC Today:
I am a Baptist, pure and simple in the historical and biblical sense. I believe being a “good” Baptist means we are to be people of the book and that the truest form of a New Testament local church is a visible group of regenerate Christians who covenant together to practice believers baptism by immersion, carrying out the two ordinances of the church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (participants are to be saved and properly baptized), organized under a congregational system of polity, submitting to the Lordship of Christ, and propagating the gospel to the lost. As a “good” Baptist, one should uphold the doctrines of inerrancy, priesthood of all believers, and soul competency. Now, in a biblical sense, there is no one “good” but God. I am only borrowing the language used by both speakers, but also in a biblical sense I am under the strong belief that these doctrinal stands, working together, identify us as Baptists. I again revisit the question, “Why can’t we all identify ourselves as Baptists and be free to be a Calvinist or a non-Calvinist?” Why does identifying with Calvinism make one a better Baptist than a non-Calvinist? The answer, it doesn’t. Both groups have been instrumental in passing on a rich heritage to us. To classify us into a hierarchy based on our understanding of soteriology creates nothing but worldly division. Again, for all including those who distort Calvinism as the dreaded death knell to Southern Baptists, let’s be Baptist and be free to choose how we define our soteriology.

I would prefer to be known as a Baptist pastor who diligently searches the scriptures for God’s wisdom, shepherds the flock for which I have been given responsibility, and tells others about the love of Jesus for them. Pure and simple.

Might I add an amen---now if the rest of the SBC would follow suit maybe they could get back to the basics of being Baptist. A return to Liberty Of Conscience and Soul Freedom---the traditional Baptist virtues for starters would allow the freedom for one "to be Baptist and be free to choose how (they) define (their) soteriology" rather than blind creedalism. Even better---putting Christ at the center and as the main point of all things will eradicate "the worldly divisions" within the Body of Christ as a whole---for focusing on Christ and participating actively in His redemptive work eliminates the need to get caught up in the external trappings of religion and the non-essentials of faith.

No comments: