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Question about Baptist Churches

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  • Question about Baptist Churches

    Hello RR,

    I've noticed that there are many different types of Baptist churches. What are the major differences between them? Which ones are solid? Any ones to avoid?

    I'm mostly curious about the "major" ones that are most likely to be found in your average town (I know there are way too many of them to list them all).

    Thanks for any help you can offer.

  • #2
    Hello, TimetoGo, and welcome to RR. In answer to your question re: Baptist churches, there are indeed a lot of them. Some of them are independent (sole pastoral authority, no elder board to help oversee) They are usually very mission-minded, supporters of Israel, and pre-trib in their prophecy. Their explanation of the gospel should be sound, as it is on this board. I do have a problem with their sole pastoral authority form of church governance, since some independent Baptist churches that I have attended in the past had pastors who abused this authority. (One of them never held Lord's Supper -or- had business meetings for the congregation to see how the money was being spent.)
    Another pastor of an independent Baptist church we attended for a few months spent much of his preaching time railing against the Southern Baptists and had an angry spirit.

    The Southern Baptists have always taught that salvation is based on Christ's death, burial and resurrection, no works on our part whatsoever. Baptism by immersion, and Lord's Supper every quarter, or more often. When I was a child growing up in the S. Baptist church, they were pre-trib, but many of them now are Calvinist and don't discuss prophecy at all (or they have a wrong view of it.) More contemporary, Rick Warren types of services are held in many of them today, but not usually the ones that favor Calvinism.

    Then, there are the Freewill Baptists, and you will have to do a google search to find out more about their beliefs. There are also Missionary Baptist churches which are much like the independent Baptists, but you can google that one as well. There are also American Baptists, Baptist Missionary Assn., etc., but the groups I discussed above will probably cover any assembly you find in or near your community.


    • #3

      Weel, The way I understand it:

      Before the 1850s there was just Baptist. Plain old Baptist. Then after the division of North and South the Baptists had their own divisions (factions) paralleling the rest of the nation. Baptists in southern slave states calling themselves 'Southern Baptists' and northern abolitionist baptists calling themselves "American Baptists'. Then it was all downhill from there. Or, uphill, depends on how you look at it I guess. Then you have the Fundamental changes of the 1920s. Several faiths felt their particular demonanation was getting too lax and needed to get back to the 'fundamentals' so IFB (Independant Fundamental Baptists) faith was born. You ask about the major differences, This should cover most major points. Do a web search on American Baptist. Tons of stuff will come up. I'm sure others will contribute to this thread. Zack


      • #4
        Iirc, some splits were caused by Calvinism - some Baptists are Reformed and some aren't.

        If you do a search on Baptists in North America, Wiki has a fairly extensive listing of all the different Baptist groups.
        "...earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." Jude 1:3b

        Jesus + something = nothing

        Jesus + nothing = Everything


        • #5
          I attend an independent Baptist. The pastor is the authority as its supposed to be but we do have our elders, deacons and committees. Our pastor dosen't abuse his authority. We are very mission-minded, supporters of Israel, pre-trib, pre-millienial. The explanation of the gospel is sound. We believe Salvation is based on faith alone and not of works. It is a church that follows the same gospel as this board does. Then again I know some Baptist churches are not like the one I attend. I could really only suggest to visit them and see for yourself and meet with the pastor and ask him their beliefs.


          • #6
            I have grown up in a baptist church before I gave my life to Christ that solely relyed on the Baptist ordiances and rules. I never knew to be honest, if they even taught or knew about the rapture. I seriously don't remember them ever even touching on anything like or even being in support of Israel. I never heard why Jesus died for my sins. never heard that I was born with a sinful nature. Never learned that it was by grace that we're saved. I'm going to go with a works based baptist church for 1000, Alex.

            So the day I came to know Christ, I felt at home in the church I'm at now. Even though I had no idea I was not truly a Christian and even though this is a Baptist church (I believe they put baptist for tax purposes, I'm just guessing). Anyhoo, that was the first Baptist church that I went to that ever taught the gospel of Christ and why it needed to be taught. That day, the Holy Spirit made the plan of salvation real in my heart and realize I was a sinner and by faith I believed and accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. After being born again, is when I learned what the rapture was, what the sinful nature was, the support of Israel, etc. It also wasn't until I was in my current church for a while that I was able to compare and contrast the different baptist churches in my area to mine and the majority in my area that I've either visit are worldly, prosperity, word of faith baptist.

            Even now, we do not have a pastor any longer because the deacons and trustees involved the entire church based on our pastor's health to vote him out (he was developing dementia) But throught it all, my church, even though it's baptist (don't know what type of baptist) we solely rely on God's word in everything. We pray before each meeting that's conducted and ask that everything would be done according to God's will and in decency and in order. We don't discriminate (that I know of) and we accept everyone with open arms. I have gone to other baptist churches that will give some the side eye based on appearence, we don't do that at our church.

            I guess up until our Pastor's involuntary retirement, he was the authority but never abuse it and always relyed on help from the appointed trustees and deacons.


            • #7
              I go to an Independent Babtist Church, sole pastoral authority. My Pastor is wonderful and does not abuse his authority. We have the Lord's supper quarterly, in the beginning of the year we have a financial accounting of the previous year. We are mission-minded, support Israel, and are pre-trib.
              I was very lucky to have been given a tract from this Church many years before and put it away for 7 years( I was Cathoilc and unsaved).When I was ready, the Lord led me there. My only regret was waiting so long.
              My suggestion is to go to an Independent Church and try it out.

              God Bless you on your search.
              2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him


              • #8
                Many independant and freewill baptist say women shouldn't dress like men and women don't wear pants. Many also believe the KJV is the ONLY inspired bible translation.

                Freewill believe you have free will to walk away from God and lose your salvation.

                Many southern baptist do not believe the bible is 100% inspired, literal and without error. Many don't believe you have to repent, and accept practicing homosexuals as members. (not visitors, like we all should do... but into membership) Many believe hell is not a literal or permanent brimstone or separation from God. Many believe all churches and beliefs lead to salvation. Some southern baptist churches are solid and don't have a lot of these manmade dogmas. I have been a member of one for 6 years and we are a beacon of light in our community.

                You just have to ask and go see about each one.


                • #9
                  Independent Baptist generally are sole pastoral authority. Some to the extreme others not so much. They are usually solid on doctrine and the Bible though some may believe that you can lose your salvation and others may not.

                  Southern Baptist (think Adrian Rogers) believe that the Bible is God's holy & inerrant word. They are pretrib, premillennial and believe that Jesus's death, burial, & resurrection is the gospel that is required to believe in to be saved. Also they believe that you are saved by grace and not works. Nothing you can do to get saved but believe and no way to lose your salvation.

                  Freewill Baptists are usually KJV only people. Believe in the current active gifts of the Holy Spirit and that you can lose your salvation. Expect speaking in tongues, etc.

                  It is impossible to paint any baptist group with a broad brush since all baptists believe in individual church autonomy. That means that none outside the individual church can tell them what to believe, etc. My SB church believes that the Bible is God's holy inerrant word and it is to be interpreted literally unless there is no other way to interpret a verse and then scripture is used to prove scripture. As the pastor I preached time and again the rapture, the end times, etc.

                  The best way to determine where to attend is to visit the church, speak with the pastor, and ask him directly what they believe. Ask him what the Bible is to him. Ask him what his eschatology (end time belief) is. If he is wishy washy or doesn't have time for you find another church.
                  Eternal life is not a reward for effort. It is a gift to those who trust Jesus.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by twinangel View Post
                    I go to an Independent Babtist Church,...
                    The Babtists are against any 'p' in relation to the babtismal font.
                    The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
                    Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.
                    (Psa 19:1b-2)


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hootmon View Post
                      The Babtists are against any 'p' in relation to the babtismal font.
                      This is hilarious...on many levels!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hootmon View Post
                        The Babtists are against any 'p' in relation to the babtismal font.
                        That's what I get for rushing an answer at work
                        2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hootmon View Post
                          The Babtists are against any 'p' in relation to the babtismal font.
                          Hootmon, you're babbling.