Monday, August 22, 2016

Churches That Take Baptist Off the Sign

In a day when many churches are removing Baptist from their name, we will continue to call our church a Baptist church. The purpose of a name is to identify something, and names in the Bible have great meaning and significance. Ambiguous names such as Crosspoint, Such and Such Christian Fellowship, or Adventure Church leave people scratching their heads as to what those churches believe.

At one time it made sense for a church to simply be called “the church,” when it was the only church in a particular city. The word "church" alone was probably enough to indicate a congregation of Christians. Later, the Baptist distinction was needed to differentiate biblical Christians from Catholics and Protestants. We don’t call ourselves “The Church at Tempe” today because that wouldn’t tell people much about our church. Not only that, but Faithful Word Baptist Church is not the only church in Tempe.

Many churches that have generic sounding names are in fact affiliated with a denomination, but when we talk about non-denominational churches, we are referring to all churches that don’t have an identifier in their name. You will often find something in the fine print somewhere about an affiliation, but churches will downplay that connection in order to attract people of other faiths.

We are an independent Baptist church, so we are not part of a denomination, but Baptists have traditionally believed certain fundamentals of the faith, so the Baptist label is a way to indicate that we believe those same truths. When someone walks into a Baptist church, he or she can at least count on a few things:

· All Baptists believe in baptism by immersion.
· Al Baptists believe baptism is for believers.
· All Baptists will at least give lip service to the fact that our doctrine should be based on scripture alone.
· Virtually every Baptist believes in the eternal security of the believer.

Non-denominational churches, on the other hand, will usually avoid taking a stand on much of anything so that everyone will feel welcome. This type of church has the backward philosophy of bringing the world into the church rather than going out and evangelizing the community through door-to-door soul winning. We want to reach the unsaved, but church should be geared toward the saved.

It’s not just the unsaved that feel comfortable in the average non-denominational church, but also people from other factions of Christianity. Unity is great within a local church, but we don’t need unity with everyone in the world. Church should be an assembly of born-again baptized believers that are in agreement because its members believe the same on the most important doctrines. We are not supposed to fellowship with people who are called “brother” yet are living in certain sins or are blatantly disregarding Bible doctrine.

There are a few churches out there that do not have "Baptist" in the name but are still great churches. I’m not saying that a church has to be called "Baptist" to be right with God. Calling our church "Baptist" is a preference as opposed to a conviction, but I believe it is beneficial to keep that identifying label. Not only does it help like-minded believers to find our church, but it will also cause people who promote false doctrine to avoid it.

It’s hard enough to find a decent Baptist church, but once you venture outside of the Baptist umbrella, it’s a jungle out there, folks. Finding a good non-denominational church is liking looking for a needle in a haystack. Looking for a church with Baptist in the name is a great starting point, but the right kind of church will usually add more adjectives to their website and other advertisements to help describe what they believe. Not only are we Baptists, but we are independent, fundamental, King James only, soul-winning Baptists. And these days we should probably add to that description that we believe salvation is by grace through faith, plus nothing, minus nothing. Those who would disagree with any of these specifics should remove the name Baptist off of their sign because we aren’t the ones who have changed.

Here is a sermon to go with this article.


Anonymous said...

Typically a church without a denomination in its name is charismatic, in my experience. Tongue-talking, holy seizures, various and sundry conniptions. Don't get me wrong, I used to could bust a move on the flo, but I got old. I'll stick with Baptist, thank you.

Hoss Cartwright said...

The church I attend just changed its name from Landmark Baptist to Hope Bible Church. The name was changed for doctrinal reasons though, to let people know that we do not agree with Baptist doctrine. My pastor preached a sermon on it if you would like to watch:

A lot of Baptists believe in works salvation, which is my biggest problem with them.

I like your statement: "There are a few churches out there that do not have "Baptist" in the name but are still great churches. I’m not saying that a church has to be called "Baptist" to be right with God. Calling our church "Baptist" is a preference as opposed to a conviction..."

God bless.
bro. Eli "Hoss" Caldwell

Anonymous said...

Well said Pastor.

While the Baptist label is an optional extra, I believe there will come a time when it will become a requirement. Everything will have been so diluted by the New World Order bibles that the only KJV adherents remaining will be IFB 2.0 "dot-churches".

On the other hand, I do agree with you that the label becomes superfluous once a new believer has tasted the church for the first time. It may take them a while to discern the difference between Plain Vanilla Congregational Assembly and Firebreathing Baptist, but they will recognize the hard preaching from the KJV when they come across it and will stick with it after they find it.

Anonymous said...

I think "Bible Church" is good. It's a doctrinal statement. It sends a clear message to differentiate from a Hope/Grace/Cross churcb which will probably be an Emergent Church (ie run and don't look back). Some took the baptist out of the name so that you will join even if you weren't born into a baptist family. I was scared to go to a denomination church because i felt as a new christian i wouldn't belong...

Selah said...

Just FYI...there are some (though not a vast majority) Reformed Baptists who still practice infant baptism.

Anonymous said...

'Change you can believe on'

First they allow different translations, while the preacher wows you with Greek and Hebrew words

Then they change the hymns and spiritual songs with vain and sensual worship Hillsong (Hellsong)

Middle aged pastor, dressed like a teenager, 'walks on eggshells',God forbid he should offend , 'don't blame me, it's the Bible...',
Then the lights get dimmed,the decor glows softly, and you're invited into a 'relatioship with Jesus',if you come forward to the'altar'

'Come next Sunday for our special guest',musicals, drama presentations, eggstravaganza, trunk or treat (if other churches have it, we take it to the next level)
Free lunch provided
Visit our church Bistro Cafè and make sure to get pastor's latest book on prayer and tithing

Then you notice the website is no longer named "[Name], but simply [Name]
And soon the whole church becomes a community church
It took only 10 years for all this to happen