Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baptist Diseases

Courtesy of Pastor I. Todyaso and his band of discerners.

It's funny though clearly whoever wrote the accompanying article doesn't understand what being a Baptist is all about as not all Baptists are alike. Here are the main distinctives that all Baptists hold in common in some form or fashion:

One way of classifying Baptist Distinctives is called the "Four Freedoms," articulated by Baptist historian Walter B. Shurden:[1]

Soul freedom: the soul is competent before God, and capable of making decisions in matters of faith without coercion or compulsion by any larger religious or civil body
Church freedom: freedom of the local church from outside interference, whether government or civilian (subject only to the law where it does not interfere with the religious teachings and practices of the church)
Bible freedom: the individual is free to interpret the Bible for himself or herself, using the best tools of scholarship and biblical study available to the individual
Religious freedom: the individual is free to choose whether to practice their religion, another religion, or no religion; Separation of church and state is often called the "civil corollary" of religious freedom

Or in another form:

[edit] "B-A-P-T-I-S-T-S" acrostic
Another popular list of beliefs shared by most Baptist traditions is expressed in the form of the following acrostic backronym, spelling BAPTISTS:[2]

Biblical authority (Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:23; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Autonomy of the local church (Matthew 18:15–17; 1 Corinthians 6:1-3)
Priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:5-9; 1 Timothy 5)
Two ordinances (believer's baptism and the Lord's Supper) (Acts 2:41–47; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32)
Individual soul liberty (Romans 14:5–12)
Saved church membership (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 5:23–32; Colossians 1:18)
Two offices of the church (pastor and deacon) (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1–2)
Separation of Church and State (Matthew 22:15–22)

While Baptists for the most part are Credobaptists not all Baptists are closed-Baptists. The SBC of course are closed off to Credobaptism as being the only valid mode of baptism but remember it's not really the mode of baptism that's really the most important thing but the confession that Jesus is one's Lord before or after baptism at some point. The confession is the most important part because whereas faith is individualistic to some degree; it's meant to be lived out in a communal setting in other words the church. The Baptist tent is big enough to embrace both those who practice Credobaptism and Paedobaptism. In fact, most Moderate Baptist churches accept both Credobaptism and Paedobaptism as valid modes of baptism for the sake of our former Catholic, Lutheran and Presbyterian brothers and sisters who join our fellowship and come into the Baptist fold. What are your thoughts on the subject?

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