Harmony…Unity…Fellowship in the SBC

April 27, 2010

A conversation I had the other night, a good and productive conversation, got me to thinking about something.  It got me to thinking about disagreements on doctrines in the Bible.  And, I just wanted to let all of you know that I believe that  it’s okay to disagree on minor issues; on the finer points of theology.  In fact, I’d bet you a Krispy Kreme doughnut that none of us, Baptists,  agree on every point of doctrine and theology, and that’s okay.  We don’t have to agree on every jot and tittle.  We can still love each other, and worship together, and fellowship with each other, and serve God together; even if we disagree on the minor, finer points of theology. 

 Now, on the main things, we must agree.  On the main truths of the Bible, we must believe the same.  On those things that are clearly spelled out in the Bible, there must be conformity.  We must all surrender and yield our hearts and minds to the foundational truths of the Christian faith.  We must all believe the fundamentals of the faith.  Things like the virgin birth; the atoning death of Jesus; salvation by grace thru faith; the Trinity of God;  etc.  These are the things that would mean whether we’re even truly a Christian, or not.  If someone denied the foundational truths of Christianity, then I wouldn’t even consider them to be a true Believer.  But, those people that do hold to the main doctrines of the faith, I call my brother, or sister in Christ; even though they may not be Southern Baptist. 

And, as Baptists, we must agree to the doctrinal distinctives which we hold dear; that we believe the Bible clearly teaches; in order to really be considered a Baptist Church.  There are things that we must believe; doctrines that  make us a Baptist Church.  Theology that makes us a Baptist kind of Christian.   Things like Believers baptism by immersion; the Lord’s Supper being a symbolic act; once saved, always saved; congregational polity, or governance; etc.   If a Church can’t even agree to the BFM2K, is it really a Baptist Church?  Is it really a Church that holds to what we consider to be the clear teachings of the Bible?  that holds to the doctrines that would make us consider them a good, sound church?  I would contend that churches must…in the least…hold to the BFM2K, in order to considered a cooperatiing, Southern Baptist Church.

But, on many, many other things, we can disagree on them all day long; and still worship and serve God together.  My friends, there are many, many, finer points of doctrine that we can not see eye to eye on, and it’s okay.  We can just have fun trying to convince the other fella that we’re right!  Lol.  But, these minor things should not cause separation, nor should they cause us to divide.  They should not cause strife, nor should they be the source of contention.  On the finer points of the major doctrines, we should allow for freedom; even while not agreeing with the other person.  Amen?  Amen!

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Bill MacKinnon

David: Do you think the SBC as a whole should take any steps regarding churches that, by your definition, are not cooperating SBC churches?

To followup your answer: If yes, what steps? If no, then doesn’t the designation of “cooperating” become meaningless?

Thanks

David Rogers

David,

From what I hear you saying here, you agree that theological triage is a valid concept. I’m still trying to get a better handle on what people like Malcolm Yarnell and Bart Barber mean when they express their questions about it. To me, it’s pretty much self-evident, and I appreciate you recognizing that (if I’m understanding you correctly).

I do wonder how you can say “If a Church can’t even agree to the BFM2K, is it really a Baptist Church?” though. Do you think churches that are not part of the SBC are not truly Baptist? As I understand it, the BFM2K purports to speak for specifically Southern Baptists at this particular stage of history, not for all Baptists everywhere and throughout time. Would you not agree?

And, I don’t see the need to get into it all over again on this post, but, though I agree with the general gist of your premise regarding the BFM and Baptist distinctives (Level 2 in the triage model), I think the fact that most Southern Baptists (churches and individuals) don’t agree with the BFM on close/closed communion sets that particular point apart from the rest of the BFM.

In other words, the real question is should that particular point be considered Level 2, or Level 3? I personally think Level 3.

Besides that, I pretty much agree with the rest of what you say here.

Malcolm Yarnell

Amen, David Worley.

And, no, David Rogers, I don’t what David has put forward is the same as theological triage.

Benji Ramsaur

David,

“Amen? Amen!”

I wish. I really do. I was tracking with you at first but I do not think the BF&M 2000 can be used as a litmus test for who is truly Baptist in the light of Baptist history.

Good confession? Yeah. Learn a lot of orthodoxy from it? Sure.

However, the fact that B.H. Carroll did not even agree with everything in it [he reject that the Spirit baptized anyone] is sufficient to trump the idea that one must hold to every word within that thousands of words confession to be a Baptist.

Hopefully none of us thinks that the “more words” a confession has the “stronger” the confession.

Personally, I think anyone who can basically “own” the Sandy Creek association’s confession or First/Second London or Abstract or New Hampshire may properly be considered a Baptist.

I think it would be silly to think that the BF&M 2000 is when folks “arrived” at what it meant to be Baptist. Personally, I think the First London is a better [Baptist] confession than BF&M 2000.

Now, at this point in SBC history I think it is probably the best folks can do to let the BF&M 2000 rule the roost [in a sense] for a while. However, I hope for a better day.

Chris Johnson

Brother Vol,

I think of the SBC as simply those that choose to cooperate or not to cooperate in missions and allocate money to training/organizational support (seminaries, portions of IMB, NAMB, etc). Although it does appear that many people treat it (the association) as much more philosophically.

The dilemma is trying to determine from the entity (SBC) point of view if they will receive money from what would be considered a “hard to determine if compatible” congregation. Because if the SBC does receive the money and issues the “control number”,..then there is complicity from both parties (the SBC and the Fellowship) in some sort of cooperation.

The response from the leadership to this question is an important one,…and as you have stated, the BFM2K is an attempt to address cooperating philosophy. This philosophy can move two directions though. One… is to simplify and develop concise cooperating language. Or a second direction would be to define in greater and more elaborate detail the rules for cooperation. It appears the SBC has chosen the second path as of the last 50+ years. I believe that for the SBC to return to Baptist philosophy and biblical doctrine, we must return to the “first position” of developing concise cooperating language through simplification… which in turn will move the motive of cooperation back to the individual churches.

The “second direction” has been successful to aid in the alienation of Baptist churches in the same city…in many cases where the Pastors down the street have a difficult time cooperating with each other because of petty differences. A systemic change in SBC leadership philosophy will be a key to freeing up local fellowships to learn how to love their brothers and sisters down the street. In other words, “the SBC as an entity philosophy” must become less important than the local churches loving each other.

Blessings,
Chris

Robert

David,

I agree with most of what you put here. Personally, I am not sure about the BF&M 2k part. I agree with about 98%, but there are some problems I have with it. Actually everyone that I know that serves in a SBC church, probably about 20 churches, still use the 1963 BFM as their guide. I just know I wouldn’t sign the BFM2k or serve in a church that held to it. I would still cooperate with them. I would have no problem cooperationg with you, David.

I would be interested to know what number of churches still use the BFM63.

Benji Ramsaur

BF&M 2000 “The Holy Spirit…He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ”

B.H. Carroll–”Suppose we take the twelfth chapter of First Corinthians. If you want to get muddled you should read what the commentators say on the subject. What is it? It reads in the King James Version this way: ‘By one Spirit we are all baptized into one body.’ It reads in the new version, ‘In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.’ Notice the difference in the two renderings. The King James Version makes the Holy Spirit the administrator, ‘By one Spirit.’ THE HOLY SPIRIT NEVER ADMINISTERS BAPTISM. He is the element, not the administrator.” (Emphasis mine–”The Holy Spirit”; Pg. 29 from AGES Digital Library; Christian Library Series)

The verse Carroll is talking about is 1 Corinthians 12:13 and I think he is right in his view that the Spirit has never baptized anyone. However, even if the SBC adopted a new confession, I don’t think it would be worth excluding those who disagree with Carroll and myself. I think language such as “Spirit Baptism” would be sufficient since it would allow for both views.

Benji Ramsaur

Chris,

I like your “first position” idea.

Scott Gordon

DW,

Well stated post. I know Dr. Y doesn’t see this a triage, and I’m fine with that…but it’s my understanding of the triage concept outlined by Dr. Mohler.

And yes, once you get the finer points of sound biblical soteriology correct, then we can truly have fellowship… :-D

Seems the BFM2K still causes many people grief. Good. We all need to be stirred a little!

BTW, Benji, it’s about being Southern Baptist and not simply Baptists. Many great Baptists throughout history (chronologically antecedent to BFM2K), and that’s great (Spurgeon, et al.)! BUT, Southern Baptists have come together in our time and affirmed this confession as the working out of our definition of a biblical world view.

Sola Gratia!

Benji Ramsaur

Scott,

Hey brother. I believe I understand what you are saying. However, based on what you have said I think one would have to exclude B.H. Carroll from being a “Southern” Baptist.

I don’t think one may have it both ways. I don’t think one may say that folks who do not hold to every word of the BF&M 2000 are not Southern Baptists out of one side of the mouth and yet say Carroll was still a Southern Baptist out of the other side.

David Worley

Bill,

The way this has been handled in the past…it seems to me…is that a church can be a part of the SBC, as long as they havent gone too far away from Baptist doctrines; but if they’re not holding to the BFM2K, then no missionaries would be appointed from that church. Also, no one from that church would be placed in leadership positions.

Now, if a church went too far…for example, the churches that allowed openly homosexual members, or that had women Pastors…would be dealt with. Of course, there was a day in SB life when we didnt hardly deal with churches that departed from the Bible, at all.

David

David Worley

David Rogers,

Well, Dr. Yarnell already answered. But, I believe, and Bart and Dr. Yarnell can correct me if I’m wrong, what they say is that all commands of the Bible are important. What they’re saying is that there are no doctrines which are not important. And, they believe that the triage system regulates some doctrines to the place of not being important.

I do believe that all doctrine is important. All the commands of the NT are of the utmost importance. I agree. I do think though that there are doctrines which are clearly taught, and others which are not so clear in the Bible. Those doctrines which are clear, spelled out in black and white, should be believed and obeyed. Those doctrines which are not clearly spelled out should be given wiggle room.

In other words, there are clearly doctrines which would tell us if someone is even a Christian, or not. Other doctrines, which we Baptists believe are clearly taught, would make someone a Baptist kind of Chrisitian, or not. And, some things in the Bible, which are left to speculation and personal conviction and preference, there should be freedom. But, to say that the doctrine of believers baptism by immersion is somehow not important, would not be right, IMHO. I would not say that someone’s not a Christian, because they werent baptised by immersion. Of course not. But, I would say that they werent being true to the clear teachings of Scripture, and it’s important to be true to the Bible’s teachings and commands. I would say that they arent a Baptist, as well as not being true to the clear teachings of the Bible.

Does that make it any clearer? what I’m saying?

David

David Worley

Benji,

The BFM2K is what we…the SBC…have determined is what defines someone as being a SOUTHERN BAPTIST. There are many kinds of Baptists out there. But, we’re trying to define what is a Southern Baptist.

David

Benji Ramsaur

Scott,

“Seems the BFM2K still causes many people grief. Good. We all need to be stirred a little!”

Well, here’s the thing. Yes, a confession can protect very important biblical doctrines. And if we do not seek to protect at least some doctrines then I think we will have to answer to Jesus for that. Recently I have tried to protect and/or defend doctrine [although not through confessionalism] concerning God’s creation verses a theistic evolutionary stance.

I think 2 Peter 10:5 and 1 Peter 3:15 are good verses in relation to this [despite what the lion/Bible comment that is attributed to Spurgeon says:)].

However, I do think there is a flip side to this. The Bible is explicit concerning Christian unity [which I would think has a cooperation aspect to it]. Therefore, I think we will have to answer to Jesus if we have brought division where there should have been cooperative unity.

I admit that these kinds of issues can be difficult, but I think we all should at least have the same disposition of heart to protect truth and maintain Christian unity.

And if we have the same disposition of heart, then maybe we can work through things in a way that might surprise us all.

Benji Ramsaur

David,

Hey brother. I think my comment in #10 in response to Scott relates to your comment in #13.

David Worley

Chris,

Brother, if all we are is a bunch of churches giving money to cooperatively support missions, then Mormon churches could be “Southern Baptist.” We are more than that, and we must be more than that.

We must have a set of commonly held beliefs that we consider the limit of what we’ll accept as being a part of our group of churches. We must have a set of beliefs that define us. Otherwise, we stand for nothing. We’ll have no direction…no mission…no message. The BFM2K is a good standard of beliefs to define who, and who is not, a cooperating church.

David

cb scott

David Rogers,

This will take us back about two years, but I have a question for you.

Do you think the Ephesian Church meets the city-church paradigm?

Vol,

As I began to read this post, I was fearful you had become a liberal and was going to ask us to hold hands, start singing Kumbaya and march jointly into the Pacific Ocean and baptize one another just after taking the Lord’s Supper in the parking lot of the Malibu Beach Inn.

But, as I read the remainder of the post, I realize you were still:

True Blue
and a
Baptist too. :-)

David Worley

CB,

:)

David

cb scott

David Rogers,

My question to you was of a serious nature.

Vol, My comment to you was not. :-)

Seriously, I did enjoy the post. It was good and presented at a rather proper time.

Chris Johnson

Brother Vol,

I’m not complaining about the BFM2K being difficult to follow…. To me, it is a broad and ambiguous document that needs refining and concise language. I mean,… if the BFM2K becomes too difficult to understand or follow,…I’m sure someone will try to reign it in. Most of the squabbles are about what it does not mean….not what it does mean…. Therein reveals the problem of stemming from ambiguity.

It is a matter of common sense that a society of churches that contribute to mission must have a mission statement of faith… Therefore,..one that is concise works much better than one that is not.

Mormons would not function well in the SBC as to doctrinal unity, but they would be similar in works.

Blessings,
Chris

Chris Johnson

Brother Vol,

The BFM2K, has its own sense of what cooperation is…..

“Christ’s people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ’s Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ’s people. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.”

I like the end of the statement as you obviously agree being a fellow SBCer… “Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.”

At least cooperation remains desirable in this statement!

Blessings,
Chris

David Rogers

Malcolm & David W.,

I completely agree with what David says in the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs of his comment #12. As I have understood it, that is no different than the concept of “theological triage” as enunciated by Al Mohler.

This is an honest question, not just “throwing stones”: Is there some nuance here I am missing? I agree that all commands of the Lord are important, and none are “disposable.” Yet, due to the lack of clarity, and discrepancy of interpretation regarding some, as well as their relative theological distance from the core of the gospel, I think, that, when we are talking about cooperation and relationships with others, there are some differences in doctrines, beliefs, and practices that will separate us more than others.

David, am I correct in assuming you meant to say Southern Baptist instead of Baptist, when you were talking about the BFM2K? That is, don’t you believe it is possible to be Baptist (although perhaps not Southern Baptist) and not agree with some point or another of the BFM2K?

CB,

My theory is that all of the churches of the NT operated according to a “city-church paradigm,” including the church in Ephesus. I don’t see the “city-church paradigm” as necessarily hierarchical, though. That is, I don’t think that means that the elders functioning in each of the separate “house churches” necessarily submitted to a citywide “bishop” or even “council of bishops.” I do think it is likely they all knew each other, and prayed and cooperated together in ministry, though. And, though each one probably met regularly with one particular house church, I think it is likely they regarded themselves as jointly comprising the eldership of the city church. At the moment of making decisions, taking votes, or exercising discipline, it is hard to tell if this was done at a house church level, or a city church level. Once a city church gets to be certain size, though, I can see some distinct advantages for taking care of this sort of a thing at a house church level, where the relationships were more intimate.

Also, I admit a lot of this is speculation. The NT is not totally clear on these questions. But, from the evidence we have, this is the scenario that makes the most sense to me.

David Rogers

David W.,

Sorry, I missed your comment to Benji in #13 which already answers my question to you in the 3rd paragraph of #22.

David Worley

Chris,

For one thing, the BFM2K is left so “broad and ambiguous” for a reason. That reason is to allow for disagreements on the finer points of the doctrines it deals with. And, secondly, the squabbles in SBC life are not so much about what it does or does not say; but seems to me that they’re over abiding by them, or not. Thirdly, Mormons would be similar in works???? What?

SB’s join together for evangelism and missions, but we’re also tied together by common beliefs of doctrine.

David

David Worley

Chris,

Cooperation is desirable, but not if it leads to compromise of conviction. Right. I agree. Bingo.

David

David Worley

David Rogers,

There seems to be some people, who think that 2nd level in the triage means “not important.” I would say that that is exactly the concern of Bart and Dr. Yarnell.

I do agree that some doctrines are fundamental to the faith; some are just fundamental to being true to the clear teachings of the Bible; and some of our doctrines are due to speculation and personal conviction.

David

Dave Miller

I don’t think that people who have promoted theological triage have done it in the sense that level 2 doctrines are “unimportant.” I think that has been a construct largely promoted by triage’s critics.

Chris Johnson

Brother Vol,

Would you say that the SBC leaders Dever and Mohler are sticking to the reasonable tenor of the BFM2K in its cooperation stance while they cooperate with other denominations and host the “Together for the Gospel” event?

Blessings,
Chris

cb scott

David Rogers,

As I have shared with you in the past, the city-church paradigm has intrigued me greatly. Your post on the subject was the genesis of my considerations as to the possibility of such a “structure” in early church history. If the city-church was a reality, it would answer several hard questions as to ecclesiology.

I mentioned Ephesus because it is very likely that several churches grew from Paul’s first “church plant” there. The letter Paul wrote to the Ephesians seems to be an encyclical letter intended to be read by more than one church in the city. Various internal evidences seem to validate this opinion. That is, of course, if one actually believes Paul actually wrote Ephesians. I believe that he did.

cb scott

BTW David,

I am in total agreement with you in saying:

“I don’t see the “city-church paradigm” as necessarily hierarchical, though. That is, I don’t think that means that the elders functioning in each of the separate “house churches” necessarily submitted to a citywide “bishop” or even “council of bishops.”

I think the structure was rather loose and based on a mutual fellowship within a strong adherence to the gospel by those who maintained an even closer fellowship and accountability one-to-another among the “house-churches” in the city.

cb scott

Dave Miller,

I believe you would portray a far more intelligent image if you were standing behind a likeness of the Great Willie Mays than one of Babe Ruth.

Of course, if you were truly intelligent, you would not need me to tell you that, because you would be standing behind a likeness of Willie Mays in the first place. Right Huggie Bear Dave?

Bill

Vol: (or anyone) Do you consider the issue of women pastors to be more important than the Lord’s Supper? Both are treated in the BFM2K, but surely the Lord’s Supper, being only one of two ordinances given to us by our Lord is theologically more important than gender issues, according to any reasonable system of theological triage?

And yet I think many would be far quicker to disfellowship churches with women pastors than churches with irregular communion practices. Am I wrong? If I’m not wrong, why do you think that is?

Secondly: You would not support a missionary candidate if his/her church deviated from the BFM2K, even if the candidate did not?

Off to men’s bible study.

Jim champion

If the BFM2000 is so important why is it that the SBC continues to accept CP money from the BGCT? The BGCT continues to recognize the BFM63, and many missionaries come from BGCT churches – granted those missionaries must sign the BFM2000.

If they BFM 2000 is so important (is it a hill worth dying over?) wouldnt, for the sake of consistency, require the SBC to reject money from the BGCT. Or is the dollar amount from the BGCT – still one of the leading contributors to the SBC, too much for the SBC to turn its back on. After all, while perhaps not as bad as the mormons, the BGCT is full of the second worst groups – Moderates….and lets face it, the BGCT also supports women in ministry, and even women pastors.

kind of makes you go hmmmmm

volfie – what think ye?

David Rogers

David W.,

You say: “There seems to be some people, who think that 2nd level in the triage means ‘not important.’ I would say that that is exactly the concern of Bart and Dr. Yarnell.”

I wish someone who ahares that point of view would weigh in here. Like Dave Miller said above, I don’t know anyone who has said 2nd level issues are not important. If that is the issue, then we are talking past each other big-time.

Bart? Malcolm?

Tom Kelley

David Worley,
Good post.

Question for you:
In comment # 16 you said, “We must have a set of commonly held beliefs that we consider the limit of what we’ll accept as being a part of our group of churches. We must have a set of beliefs that define us. Otherwise, we stand for nothing. We’ll have no direction…no mission…no message.”

What would be wrong with making the standard of cooperation around the essentials of the Christian faith (as identified in the OP), rather than around denominational distinctives? Can’t our mission and message simply be Christ and Him crucified?

David Rogers

CB,

Interesting to hear you agree with me on this. Would you say what I write here (comment #22) reflects a “Baptist” ecclesiology?

John Fariss

One question David: you said the BF&M2K is “what defines someone as being a SOUTHERN BAPTIST.” Have I missed some pronouncement from on high, or have all the churches which still use the BF&M1963–or even the 1925 version–been kicked out? If so, I need to contact our treasurer and tell her not to send any CP checks anymore. In fact, I know a lot of churches, in three or four states, which will need to stop sending them in.

John Fariss
Affirming the ’63 version, even though I like what our 18th century Baptist ancestor cried, “No creed but the Bible!”

David Rogers

CB,

If you really want to understand where I am coming from on this whole city church thing, the following posts will shed a lot of light, if you haven’t seen them before. My 10 years in the Extremadura region of Spain were really life-changing in this regard:

http://loveeachstone.blogspot.com/2006/08/practice-of-unity-on-mission-field.html

http://loveeachstone.blogspot.com/2007/04/ministerial-ethics-and-city-church.html

http://loveeachstone.blogspot.com/2007/04/ministerial-ethics-and-city-church-part.html

Though I have heard of things like this in isolated situations in the States, I have never seen it personally. My dream, and, I believe, the desire of Jesus, is for there to be a lot more of this type of thing in the States, and around the world.

cb scott

David Rogers,

:-)

David, you know we differ on certain, yet important, aspects of ecclesiology. To borrow part of a comment from your father and add my own concept, let me say. “If you will have them all “go under” before they come “over” to the “table” we can begin to negotiate by whose acceptable earthly authority their “going under” and “coming to the table” gives credible evidence of being baptistic enough to be a “reflector” of Baptist ecclesiology.”

Yet, please know that I deeply appreciate your ideas of the city-church and they have pushed me to much reading in the last two years. The Ephesian letter and its background seems to evidence a city-church structure to me more than some.

Kevin M. Crowder

I think you’re all hairy ticks who will not sign the Westminster Standards.

K

cb scott

Kevin,

I would like to meet you someday. I find you to be a fascinating person in comment threads. Will you by any chance be in Orlando?

Kevin M. Crowder

Negative CB. Too far away from St. Louis. Plus I have work and school. Maybe next time the party is in St. Louis we can meet in the hotel lobby for a drink. hehe

K

David Rogers

Here’s something to think about. The BF&M doesn’t really define itself as far as eschatological views is concerned. Some other denominations, in their doctrinal statements, are more specific on this.

I don’t think this is because this is a minor issue. As a matter of fact, the way we see eschatology often has enormous consequences in relation to how we view ministry, and what our priorities and methods in ministry should be.

Yet, I agree with most Southern Baptists that there is hermeneutical room, for those who take the Bible seriously, for different eschatological views. It is not the lack of relative importance, in this case, that leaves room for greater flexibility, but rather the lack of biblical clarity. Or, at least, an apparent tacit recognition that others who hold a view different than ours on this point may be right, and we may be wrong.

David Worley

Dave Miller,

When people begin to say things like it doesnt matter what you believe about women pastors…because it’s a second tier doctrine anyway; or when people say things like it doesnt really matter what people believe about the LS; it’s just a second tier doctrine anyway; then, that looks as if they place importance on what tier it is.

I dont know if Dr. Mohler intended for it to be that way, or not. I really doubt that he did. But, I do see some people leaning that way in their thinking from this triage system.

David

David Worley

Bill,

As I told you before, I think that we definitely look upon some things as more important than other doctrines in SBC life. Yes, we do. No doubt about it. We’ll disfellowship a Church for having openly homosexual members, or a church that has a woman Pastor/Elder; but we allow other churches that deviate from the BFM2K to remain in good standing. What do you suggest we do?

As for the second question, I guess I’d have to say that a missionary candidate that believes the BFM2K should be appointed…no matter what church he comes out of.

David

Chris Johnson

Brother Vol,

Mark 9:50 “Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

All the doctrine that is God breathed is important. Some find it more difficult than others to be at peace.

Blessings,
Chris

David Worley

Jim,

The SBC has traditionally taken money from any Church that wanted to give, unless that church has done something that we look upon as really “bad, or against Scripture.” Why would we not take the money from BGCT Churches? I’d imagine that a lot of those churches are still good, sound churches, who didnt leave the BGCT due to tradition, etc.

Jim, we should rally around Christ and Him crucified, but we should also be sound, good churches, where young Christians can grow in their faith. I dont want a young Christian to “grow up” in a Methodist, or Presbyterian Church. And, I sure wouldnt want one to “grow up” in a Pentecostal, charismatic type church.

We need to be both…IMHO. We dont need to throw sound theology down the river just so we can “get along” with other groups. Because, sound theology is of the utmost importance.

David

David Worley

Tom,

I’m sorry, but I lumped my answer to you in with my answer to Jim. I didnt realize it til now. So, see the comment above.

David

David Worley

David Rogers,

Amen to comment #43….although, those that are right about eschatology are pre-trib., pre-mils!!!!

David :)

David Worley

Chris,

What are you trying to say?

David

Chris Johnson

Can you be more specific?

David Worley

lol, Chris…when you said, “All the doctrine that is God breathed is important. Some find it more difficult than others to be at peace,” exactly what do you mean by this?

David

David Rogers

Following up on comment #43…

It is interesting to me that, as Southern Baptists, we leave something as important as eschatological views out of the BF&M, because we recognize there are different interpretations among us, yet we insist on something as seemingly non-essential as the difference between close/closed communion and modified open communion, in spite of the fact that, in actual practice, there is just as much divergence in interpretation and practice among us on this point as there is on eschatology.

Also, in regard to comment #44…

I think part of the confusion is two different uses of the term “secondary” or “second-tier.” As I understand it (and, as I think Mohler intended it) “secondary” does not necessarily mean “unimportant.” Yet, I recognize that people, in everyday speech, at times, do use it with that connotation. Perhaps there is another way of saying the same thing, while avoiding this confusion. Can you think of some better terminology?

Chris Johnson

I thought you might be responding to my question of Mohler and T4G….

On the comment in 51 though… I am agreeing with on the importance of all doctrine. In my opinion there is no need to digress from anything taught in the Word. It is all profitable.

Some men on the other hand may say that all doctrine is important, but will not be at peace with men in order to teach them. Dever and Mohler for instance take every opportunity to teach Duncan and Sproul concerning their (D&S) intent on baptism. Some men would not be at peace with such, and would rather ignore them.

I like the opportunity to teach and be at peace with all men.

Blessings,
Chris

Christiane

Hi DAVID ROGERS,

Thank you for sharing this site:

http://loveeachstone.blogspot.com/2006/08/practice-of-unity-on-mission-field.html

I found it very encouraging in that those from different ‘evangelical traditions’ (my phrase, sorry) were able to come together in Christian brotherhood to respectfully communicate, dialogue, pray together, and help one another, and work in unity for the community you were all serving in the mission field.
That kind of unity must be very dear to the Heart of Christ.
I think that this kind of cooperation as Christians represents the best of the expression ‘ekklesia’, which many interpret as the ‘called out’, but is also interpreted as the ‘convocation’ of believers in Christ.

When the Body of Christ comes together in hopeful unity, it most often represents St. Augustine’s vision of the Church
that ship which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross,
by the breath of the Holy Spirit,
navigates safely in this world.”

Bill MacKinnon

David: What I’m asking is this: The BFM2K would consider female elders and open communion to both be errors. So why is a church with female elders considered to be in more egregious error than a church practicing open communion? What sort of theological triage system has gender issues ahead of the Lord’s Supper?

David Worley

David Rogers,

I guess the question is….there were many great men on the committee that brought us the BFM’s….all of the BFM’s; but especially the last one. Why do you think that they didnt allow for more interpretations of the LS? Why was it not important to them to allow for open communion? There had to be a good reason.

David

David Worley

Chris,

Being at peace with all men, and trying to help them understand doctrine, is not the same with partnering with those people to start churches and run seminaries. I could sit down and talk to infant baptising Presbyterians, and try to talk to them about Believers baptism; and we could have a good time sitting around the table eating chocolate cake. But, I absolutely would not want to start a Church with them….believing such a doctrine about baptism. I absolutely would consider this a hill to die on….because the Bible is very clear on this issue.

DAvid

David Worley

Bill,

The BFM2K deals with both of those issues the same…does it not? It’s the way SB’s look at these things, and the way they choose to deal with these issues, where there’s nothing done about one. Why do we do this? as SB’s? I dont know what to tell you. I guess SB’s just look at female pastors as being a bigger issue than the LS. I dont know.

Why do you think?

David

David Worley

Christiane,

I tell you what. You have a big, evangelistic meeting….where your Catholic church sponsers it. Then, you ask your Priest to let CB and me come and preach at it. I cant say what CB will preach, but I will preach the Gospel…salvation. Let’s see if your Priest will go along with that. Also, after it’s over, let’s see if your Priest and your Church is thrilled about hearing the way of salvation. Let’s see if they want to do it again the next year.

David

Chris Johnson

I agree with you Brother Vol…in #58.

In your judgement though, how far is to far? Dever and Mohler holding Gospel meetings with Duncan and Sproul is different than eating chocolate cake. In your view, is there a danger with SBC leaders conducting such events with those that are intent on sprinkling infants and calling it baptism.

Blessings,
Chris

David Worley

Chris,

A conference? Are you saying that they just spoke at the conference? or just attended? Or, did they put SB money into this conference?

David

Bill MacKinnon

David: My own personal opinion is that communion is a far bigger deal than gender issues. I’m a fairly soft complementarian. I don’t think the pastorate is open to women, but I don’t consider it an egregious error, the same way I don’t think being a non-Calvinist or a dispensationalist is an egregious error. I would not (even if I could) sanction a church that felt differently.

Now, having said that, I think all professed Christians (within orthodox Christianity) should be allowed to come to the table, so I’m not in line (I guess) with the BFM on that point.

Christiane

Hi DAVID WORLEY,

it’s me, Christiane

If you are REALLY serious (I hope), contact the NAMB. They concluded (ended) all ‘conversations’ with Catholics formally in 2001.
Here is a statement from 2001, concerning the ending of talks.

“as of the September, 2001 meeting.
The decision to bring this round of conversations to CLOSURE was made by the North American Mission Board. Thankful for the opportunity to bear witness to a Baptist understanding of Holy Scripture and Salvation Baptist leaders who participated were appreciative for the frank and honest discussions held with key thinkers in the Roman Catholic community. There is no doubt but that these conversations will help each ecclesiastical community bring to its flock a more true to life characterization of the other.

As stated from the outset, the purpose of the Conversation has been the honest clarification of differences between the two largest ecclesiastical communities in North America, thus assisting the two communities to understand one another fairly and accurately. There has been no hint of compromise or hope of coming to some united conclusion.

The Conversation was initiated after a 1994 resolution of the Southern Baptist Convention. The theme of Scripture was completed in 1998, and a report was submitted to the sponsoring bodies in 1999.

The second issue, Baptist and Catholic different understandings of salvation, was discussed over a four year period, but no report was produced. In this conversation such issues were discussed as Catholic and Baptist differences on justification and good works, sin and grace, the sacraments, the salvation of members of other religions, conversion and Christian assurance of salvation.

The relationship between Catholics and Southern Baptists takes many forms: congregational cooperation on local levels, efforts to support marriage and the family, joint educational projects in a variety of academic contexts, joint efforts in social service and public policy concerns, and the like. This Conversation, for mutual understanding, is only one small aspect of the many avenues of communication, and should not be seen as a diminished commitment in either community to continued collaboration whenever possible.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has been working with the Interfaith Evangelism Department (formerly, Interfaith Witness), since 1971, and in regular conversations since 1978. It has welcomed the 1994 Convention resolution, which initiated the recent round of Conversations. It will remain open to conversation, on whatever issues and at such a time as may seem appropriate should the occasion arise in the future.

Since 1969 the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has had a staff person in the field to enhance understanding between Catholics and Southern Baptists, and will continue to do so. The Glenmary Home Missioners have provided this ministry for these two communities, on occasion assisted by staff from the Interfaith office of the Convention. Father Frank Ruff currently serves in this ministry.

The North American Mission Board, for its part is committed to fulfilling its mandate to present the Gospel to everyone in North America. The overwhelming weight of this mission drives all its decisions.

Dr. Robert Reccord
North American Mission Board

Bishop Kendrick Williams
Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs ”

So David, the ball is in your court. The USCCB would welcome resumption of ‘conversations’ at any time that the SBC and its entities would like for that to happen. At present, David, I don’t think it is something that the SBC is planning on doing. But, the door is open and the Welcome mat is always out for you.

BTW is Father Ruff still around? Or did he retire? I know he was the liasson with the SBC for a while, and that he was very fond of the Southern Baptist people he worked with and that he felt a sincere closeness to them in Christ. I do not know if he still is in touch with the SBC in any capacity, though.

David Rogers

David W.,

In answer to your question on comment #57, I don’t like to read into other people’s motives, and I am not sure, in this case, what they were. However, I do have a hunch (that may or may not be correct).

My hunch is this: 1) There were certain people on the BF&M committee who were/are staunch close or closed communionists. It was not in their interest to open up the topic of a possible change on this matter. 2) There were other people on the committee who were either not close/closed communionists, or who were not as staunch in their support of close/closed communion as the others. Since the big issues of the day were inerrancy, the preamble (and what it says or doesn’t say about the possibility of letting one’s subjective view of Jesus being our guide for interpreting Scripture), and gender roles, making a big deal about close and closed communion was a controversial subject which could possibly have complicated (or even derailed) the effort to get the SBC to define itself on these other matters. So, out of expedience, they decided not to make an issue out of it for the time being.

As I have stated elsewhere, though, if someone who was actually on the committee wants to weigh in on this and shed more light, I would be most interested to hear what they have to say on this matter. I don’t see any reason why this would need to be “top secret” information. And, I imagine there are some who read this blog who have sufficient access to committee members to ask this question, or perhaps even some actual committee members.

David Rogers

David Worley,

In comment #58 you say to Chris, in relation to baptism, and working together with paedobaptists, “I absolutely would consider this a hill to die on….because the Bible is very clear on this issue.”

If the Bible is so clear, why, do you suppose, good people, who believe what the Bible has to teach on other key matters, such as salvation (a lot of PCA folks, for instance), don’t agree with us on this?

Is it because they are stupid? Is it because they are stubborn? Is it because they are blinded by Satan?

David Worley

David Rogers,

In answer to comment #66, I dont know why they wont see the clear teachings of Scripture on this matter. But, clear the teachings are. And, refusing to see it they are. And, it’s a very important doctrine that we shouldn’t back up on; if we want to stay true to the clear teachings of Scripture; if that’s important to us.

David

David Worley

Christiane,

I’m not talking about NAMB, nor the whole SBC. I’m talking about CB and me coming to your Church to preach an evangelistic meeting. Do you think your Priest would be for it? Do you think the members of your Catholic church would be glad we came when it was over? Would we be invited back..to do it again the next year?

And, Christiane, I promise you that I would only preach the Gospel. I would never mention the Catholic Church. I’d only preach the Gospel; how to be saved.

David

cb scott

David Rogers,

I am sure you would agree that only Believer’s Baptism is the biblical position and that the paedobaptists are wrong on this issue, would you not?

Therefore, I ask you in all honesty as to why you would ask Vol the questions you did in comment #66?

Does it really matter why paedobaptists refuse the plain teachings of Scripture on this matter? Their specific reasons for their position do not make them any less wrong. So what is the point of your question to Vol?

cb scott

L’s,

Your honest answer to Vol’s question would be very interesting.

Christiane

Hi DAVID,

My Church is not what you call ‘autonomous’. It is a parish of a diocese of . . . on and on, connected all the way to Rome.
It is a liturgical Church of the Latin (Roman)rite of the Catholic Church. And the sermon is on the Gospel that is read ‘world-wide’ for that particular day in our Church.
I don’t think you are familiar with our liturgy, but I encourage you to go and talk to a priest about wanting to share your faith with Catholic people. I think that there may be some kind of ‘ecumenical’ groups in your area that share together respectfully, Vol. Try this: call the local parish and make an appointment to talk about it with the priest.
You will be received respectfully. I think that would be a good beginning for you, if you are serious.
As for C.B., he would of course be welcomed at an ‘ecumenical’ gathering. He would be a big hit, I predict. :)
I once started a brawl at an ecumenical gathering of ladies in a church hall where they had a famous woman speaker on ‘Bloom Where You Are Planted’. All I did was to ask a question. Honestly.
Her theme was on ‘submission to your husband’ and all I asked was,
‘what should you do, if your husband asks you to do something that is against your conscience?’ Well, Vol, the ladies all started talking and yelling at once. Chairs fell back. Women were standing on top of chairs, yelling, trying to get their point across. It was a mess. I was never so glad to get out of a place in my life, I had caused so much trouble. My friend who had invited me told me later that that was the very question that had been on everyone’s mind before the speaker came.
Oy vey. Will I never learn to keep my big mouth shut. :(

David Worley

Christiane,

Sounds like you got yourself into a hornet’s nest.

But, Christiane, I’m asking about coming to your church, to do an evangelistic outreach to the people around your church. I will pay my own way, and I will expect no pay from your church. I’ll come on my own dime.

Christiane, I think you wont answer this very straight, because you know that your Priest would not be for this. That’s okay. I understand. I think you know that CB and I would not be very well received at your church…preaching the Gospel. That’s okay, too. I understand completely.

So, Christiane, just understand that some doctrines divide Christians. It may not be right. It may not be the way it’s supposed to be. It may not be the way David Rogers wants it to be. But, it is the way it is.

David

David Rogers

CB,

Yes, I agree that “only Believer’s Baptism is the biblical position and that the paedobaptists are wrong on this issue.”

More than anything, I am trying to process this all in my own mind. For me, the options I proposed (“Is it because they are stupid? Is it because they are stubborn? Is it because they are blinded by Satan?”) are not good options in the case of many people. In the name of intellectual honesty, I suppose, I am looking for a good alternative explanation.

Christiane

Hi DAVID,

Personal information I don’t give out on line. That is my husband’s request from Day One on line, and I concur with it, especially after seeing what has happened recently to some individuals, who are more public on line than myself. Oh dear !

I do encourage you to think about participating in sharing with an ecumenical group that includes people of many faith communities. I’ve done it. (Hornet’s Nest and all) It’s generally a GOOD experience. Our Bible study when my children were little was a group of ladies from different backgrounds. You would liked it. I lived near a Krispy Kreme doughnut place and guess what I served when the group met at MY HOUSE. :)

In some better world than this, I would receive both you and C.B. in my home and take you personally to see my priest so that we could discuss your request with him.
At my very comfortable home, you would be well-received , and EXTREMELY WELL FED. (I got it from Kevin Crowder what Baptists like to eat: fried chicken, and all the trimmings,
and . . .for dessert, DOUGHNUTS, what else? )
What a nice thought. :)

David Rogers

David W.,

RE comment #72:

For the record, I believe that doctrine does and ought to divide between true gospel Christians and merely professing “Christians.” Some doctrines, though, divide more than others. The division caused by the gospel itself is crucial and inevitable. Other doctrines (what the “triage” model calls secondary or tertiary) do not need to divide when it comes to Christian unity or communion. They may well “divide,” (and legitimately so) however, when it comes to cooperation in certain ministry projects.

Tim Rogers

Brother David R.,

More than anything, I am trying to process this all in my own mind. For me, the options I proposed (“Is it because they are stupid? Is it because they are stubborn? Is it because they are blinded by Satan?”) are not good options in the case of many people. In the name of intellectual honesty, I suppose, I am looking for a good alternative explanation.

Is it because they are disobedient to the Scripture? Why isn’t that an option? It would seem if you believe, and I am not saying you do not, believe the Bible teaches Baptism by Immersion then that would be the only option. Of course you couldn’t have that as an option then you would have to say they were unrepentant sinners. :) I am not trying to get a “gotcha” on this, but seriously what other alternative does one have that believes the Scripture is inerrant? For a pedobaptist who says they believe the Scripture is inerrant, they must deny that “Baptism” means immersion. Thus they must deny the clear teaching of the inerrant Scriptures.

Blessings,
Tim

Tim Rogers

Christianne,

As for C.B., he would of course be welcomed at an ‘ecumenical’ gathering. He would be a big hit, I predict. :)

I do not believe Brother C.B. would show up even if he were invited. No, wait!! I take that back he did go to a meeting with a former President. ;) (Sorry C.B. that was a fastball over in the sweet spot) :)

Blessings,
Tim

Chris Johnson

Brother Vol,

It’s ok…you don’t have to answer the question. I have tried three times, and it is not a hard question. I guess if you do not know what the T4G is and what Dever and Mohler have put together with other groups,…so be it. I would be shocked if SB dollars are budgeted for the event. If that is your litmus test…then so be it. I thought we were discussing harmony and unity within the SBC, which by the very document it produces and you support… the BFM2K, does mention these things, whether budgeted or not.

Either you are standing with Dever or Mohler on these “events” or you are not…that’s all I’m asking. No tricks or traps. It is ok either way you answer the question.

I personally have seen unity maintained in these “events”….so I would stand with them.

Blessings,
Chris

Christiane

Hey TIM ROGERS.

:)

David Rogers

Tim,

You say: “Is it because they are disobedient to the Scripture?”

Yes, perhaps, that is at the core of much, if not all, of this discussion.

In order to answer, let me ask you some questions back (not just to be a gadfly, but to seek further understanding)…

1. Do you see a difference between being intentionally “disobedient” and unintentionally “disobedient”?

2. If you think paedobaptists are disobedient to Scripture, do you think they are usually intentionally disobedient or unintentionally disobedient?

3. Do you think God holds us accountable for the light we have received or for light we have not received?

4. If certain paedobaptists have not yet “received the light” regarding believers baptism, why do you think this is? Or do you suppose they have “received the light,” but have just rejected it? If so, would this not amount to the same thing as intentional disobedience?

5. Have you ever studied carefully a conservative Reformed defense of paedobaptism? I have. While I was not convinced, I must, at least, admit that at least some paedobaptists are trying their best to be honest with Scripture, and submit to what they understand it to teach. Would you not agree this is the case?

cb scott

David Rogers,

I asked you the question because we both know, that not all paedobaptists are “stupid”, “stubborn” or “blinded by Satan.”
(I am sure that just as many Southern Baptists are equally stupid, stubborn or blinded by Satan for various other reason.)

I know, as I am sure you do, many very devout paedobaptists who have repented of sin and embraced the biblical gospel. They are my brothers and sisters in the faith. Yet, for what ever reason, they do not see the position of Believer’s Baptism as the only biblical position. They are just simply wrong about baptism relating to mode and candidate and that is all there is to it, it seems.

What is your opinion as to why even devout paedobaptists will not see the error of their ways?

cb scott

Tim,

You have a very dark heart. :-)

David Rogers

CB,

You ask: “What is your opinion as to why even devout paedobaptists will not see the error of their ways?”

Similar my answer above to David W. about the BFM committee members, I can’t guess others motives, or get into their heads. I can, however, give some speculative hunches.

1. It is possible that some paedobaptists either grew up in a paedobaptist home and/or church, and, after hearing paedobaptism taught by people they loved and respected, had a tendency to read the Bible with the same lens as their teachers.

2. It is also possible that some paedobaptists were led to Christ by other paedobaptists, and tend to trust the theology of those who led them to Christ.

3. It is even possible that some do not fit either of these first two categories, but, when studying the Bible, looked for some systematic explanation of some questions they did not understand, came across certain theologians in their studies who teach Covenant Theology, and this made sense to them, so they bit off the whole system.

While I think the hypothetical people in each of these three cases is sincerely mistaken, I don’t think they are necessarily “disobedient.”

I also think a convinced paedobaptist could give the same three scenarios as explanations of why they think “even devout Baptists will not see the error of their ways.”

In some cases, they may be right. Many Baptists likely hold the views they do concerning baptism because of one of these same three reasons.

In spite of all this, as I do my best to understand and follow what the Bible teaches, I hold to believers baptism by immersion as the best interpretation. At the same time, I am careful to not judge the motives of those who, for whatever reason, see things differently than I do on this issue.

Chris Johnson

Brother Vol,

I did remember as I was eating a little bit ago…that Southwestern, Southern and I believe Southeastern had folks at T4G handing out stuff for their seminaries in booths in the convention center. Lifeway played a big part in the instrumentation of the wonderful book store that was provided for the 7000+ participants. So, I would assume that in some form or fashion your dollar was represented at the T4G. I’m not sure if any money was allocated by any other SBC entities.

Blessings,
Chris

Bill

I’m certain many paedobaptists have come to their position by studying the scriptures and coming to the conclusion that their position is correct. They, no doubt, are on their own blogs discussing and wondering by Baptists ignore the clear (in their mind) teaching of scripture on baptism.

It is difficult for me to believe that paedobaptists are simply in willful rebellion against a teaching (credobaptism) that they know to be true.

Christiane

Hi DAVID ROGERS,

You wrote ” In spite of all this, as I do my best to understand and follow what the Bible teaches, I hold to believers baptism by immersion as the best interpretation.”

I’m wondering if ‘immersion’ as a form of baptism is at all related in origen to the ancient Hebrew practice of the ritual bath:
the ‘mikvah’ ?
I ask because there is a legend in the Midrash (Hebrew writing) that tells of a great river flowing out of Eden, and that Adam, after his banishment, sat down and immersed himself in this river, repenting and sorrowful, as a way of expressing his great longing for his lost friendship with God in Eden.

David Rogers

Okay, I’m going to get a bit philosophical here. Mostly, I’m just trying to think this out, and process it all for myself. But, if any of you want to join in and think this through with me, please feel free.

David W., if you think I’m highjacking your post, and wish I wouldn’t, let me know, and I’ll stop. But, maybe you will find this discursion interesting as well…

Bill said: “I’m certain many paedobaptists have come to their position by studying the scriptures and coming to the conclusion that their position is correct. They, no doubt, are on their own blogs discussing and wondering by Baptists ignore the clear (in their mind) teaching of scripture on baptism.”

I basically agree with him. However, as I think about it, we could probably say the same thing about Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, etc.

At some point, error in belief, no matter how sincerely it is held, becomes sin we are responsible for before God. That is, unless we are universalists.

Yet, I am thinking the underlying issue is an issue of the heart. For instance, over at SBC Impact, I had a post a while back asking, “Is it necessary to believe in justification by faith to be justified by faith?” And, I agree with the majority of those who responsed saying no, it is not.

However, I would say that, in order to be justified by faith it is necessary to believe some propositional truth about the gospel, i.e., that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross, and that He rose from the dead. Just how well we must understand all of the implications of all of this to be saved is a pretty complex question, though.

At the same time, once we have accepted the basic essential truth of the gospel, I think there are some points of error that don’t necessarily involve sin. If we are convinced something is true in our heart, and rebelliously refuse to accept it, then, yes, it is sin. But, there are times when we are sincerely mistaken. And, if it is not over an issue that is crucial to the gospel, it is not necessarily sin. Actually, I think all of us are likely mistaken on one point or another of doctrine. That doesn’t mean we are all living in unrepentant sin, though. We do need to constantly be vigilant, though, to make sure we are not just being stubborn in our beliefs, or deceived by Satan. And, we should continually study the Word to make try to understand things as well as we possibly can. Sometimes, a lack of adequate study can be due to laziness, and this is sin. But, in and of itself, error is not the same as sin.

Can anyone show me how this line of thinking is mistaken?

Bill

David: I agree that error can be sin, but not necessarily.

David Rogers

Christiane,

Forgive me if I am overly pedantic in what I say here, telling you things you already know.

But, as Baptists, we believe immersion is essential for the following reasons: 1) the Greek word “baptizein” literally means “to immerse”; 2) according to Romans 6:3-4, and Colossians 2:12, baptism is symbolic of our identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Immersion most perfectly pictures this symbolism; 3) the historical evidence of both the NT Church, as well as the early Church in the first few centuries after the time of the NT, points to immersion as the standard practice. For example, I have personally seen several baptistries in ancient churches (or ruins of ancient churches) in Europe that were obviously built with immersion in mind and not pouring or sprinkling.

As far as the origins of immersion are concerned (i.e. mikvah, etc.), someone else who has studied this out more would be better qualified than me to speak to that. The important thing in relation to this, though, is that Jesus commanded us to be baptized, and, from a biblical perspective, it appears baptism means immersion.

David Rogers

Here’s another point in my line of thought in comment #87 I forgot to mention there:

When all is said and done, if we don’t accept the gospel, it is due, at the core, to the wickedness of our heart, and not just to honest intellectual questions. That doesn’t mean that some people who are still unconverted don’t have honest intellectual questions. But, when we stand before God, we will be judged for the wickedness of our heart, and not for our intellectual doubts. And, the underlying cause for everyone who doesn’t eventually accept the gospel is the wickedness of their heart. They refuse the light that God gives them.

I’m not sure we can say the same thing regarding “secondary” and “tertiary” doctrines, though. If we are wrong on these issues, it is not always ultimately due to the wickedness of our heart.

cb scott

L’s,

This comment has nothing to do with this post or comment thread.

I just read a comment you made on another blog about something that has been going on for a good while now. Some have wisely stepped away from it. Others will follow. Maybe, you too, should just let it die its natural death and show the grace you often speak of on this blog and others.

Tim Rogers

Brother David R.,

1. Do you see a difference between being intentionally “disobedient” and unintentionally “disobedient”?

2. If you think paedobaptists are disobedient to Scripture, do you think they are usually intentionally disobedient or unintentionally disobedient?

3. Do you think God holds us accountable for the light we have received or for light we have not received?

4. If certain paedobaptists have not yet “received the light” regarding believers baptism, why do you think this is? Or do you suppose they have “received the light,” but have just rejected it? If so, would this not amount to the same thing as intentional disobedience?

5. Have you ever studied carefully a conservative Reformed defense of paedobaptism? I have. While I was not convinced, I must, at least, admit that at least some paedobaptists are trying their best to be honest with Scripture, and submit to what they understand it to teach. Would you not agree this is the case?

1.) Great question. However, if I understand Scripture correctly there is no difference. Disobedience is disobedience. When Jesus told the different ones to follow him one wanted to bury his father. Jesus would not take that excuse as being anything less than disobedience. While I do not desire to jump ahead of you I just cannot help it. Are you saying that paedobaptist are being unintentionally disobedient?

2.) How can one distinguish between intentionally disobedient or unintentionally disobedient when it comes to interpreting Scripture? We are speaking about interpreting the word “baptismo”.

3.) No doubt God holds us responsible for all light, received or not. If that is not the case then we move to universalism. You use the term accountable as with doctrinal beliefs. However, I am not sure the bible speaks about being accountable to the Light but responsible because of the Light.

4.)Here is where it gets convoluted. You see, the light you are speaking of is from Scripture. Every peadobaptst within the evangelical world know about Baptist. They also know the arguments that Baptism is from Scripture is why we believe as we do.

5.) Yes, I have studied their position but, probably not as much as others.

Blessings,
Tim

Kevin M. Crowder

rabble rabble rabble…

…honestly I have seen tastier looking dog slobber than the contents of this thread. First of all “baptidzo” does not mean immerse, it literally means “I dip.” The connotation ought to be read as to be diluted in faith. The act of water baptism, if truly symbolic, need not ever be a bone of contention between brothers in the Lord. For tis better to live as one baptized in faith than to spend one moment arguing against one’s method or mode. Finally, the disgrace is not open or closed communion, but rather excluding a brother from the table of the King.

It would be better for many of you on here to live in sacramental disobedience (that is not to have been baptized, nor partake of Communion) than to again, spend even one second calling a brother wrong on the issue. None of it really matters since most of you disgrace His name with your legalistic man made observances anyway.

Feed your wafers and Welch’s to the dogs. The Lord wants no part of it. You try and drowned your sorrows in the fiberglass tank while you slam the door of the Kingdom on those disagree.

For shame!

K (Generally speaking of course.)

:)

cb scott

Actually Kevin,

Grapes in any form are not good for dogs. Most any good vet will tell you that.

Christiane

Hi C.B.

On your comment number 91, where-in you stated:

‘L’s,

This comment has nothing to do with this post or comment thread.

I just read a comment you made on another blog about something that has been going on for a good while now. Some have wisely stepped away from it. Others will follow. Maybe, you too, should just let it die its natural death and show the grace you often speak of on this blog and others.”

I suppose you mean my comment on Debbie’s current post. I think it is a pretty good comment ! I’m surprised you would remark on it here.
Were you banned from Debbie’s blog? If not, come over there and we will discuss it. You are right concerning ‘off topic’. Best to discuss it on Debbie’s blog, I think.

cb scott

Thank you L’s.

You have been very helpful.

Tim Rogers

Brother Crowder,

Your statement is what Dr. Leo Garrett says is a sign of the troubled waters of Baptist life today. He says; “a small-but-growing number prefer to speak of baptism as a vital sacrament.” You say;

It would be better for many of you on here to live in sacramental disobedience (that is not to have been baptized, nor partake of Communion) than to again, spend even one second calling a brother wrong on the issue. None of it really matters since most of you disgrace His name with your legalistic man made observances anyway.

I am sure Dr. Garrett probably has been called worse than “legalistic”. BTW, as Baptist we have never observed the ordinances of the church as “sacraments”.

Blessings,
Tim

David Worley

Chris,

I was just saying that SB dollars shouldnt be put into anything like that…not in my opinion. NOw, if Dr. Mohler and Dr. Dever want to speak at this meeting…then go ahead. Why would I care if they did? I’d be all for them going to a Mormon meeting to preach. That’d be great. I wish I could preach at a Mormon gathering, or a Catholic Church, or at a T4G meeting. I’d love the opportunity.

Would I attend any of these things…just to attend? Probably not. Would I spend money to go to one of these meetings? Definitely not.

But, if Mohler and Dever want to go….that’s up to them.

David

Chris Johnson

Thanks Vol,

That is all I was asking is your judgment on these things… that’s one thing that leaders do…is make judgments.

Blessings,
Chris

David Worley

Kevin,

The very fact that you dont look at baptism as all that important is sad, and is very telling about your theology.

Also, Kevin, I count Methodists, who are saved, to be my brothers and sisters in Christ. But, they are living in error about baptism, amongst many other things. Sprinkling is not dipping under, or immersing, as the Bible clearly teaches. Kevin, the Bible is very clear on this issue…baptism is dipping under…immersing…there’s no way to honestly look at any different, except to not want to see it for whatever reason it is that they dont want to see it.

Also, Kevin, if you dont like the topics, nor the conversation in this blog….well, how can I say this nicely….no one is twisting your arm to come in here, Brother. You know what I’m saying?

David

Bart Barber

David Rogers,

I think that my online treatment of Theological Triage has been among the more thorough out there. I do not discount the possibility that I have left some major question about my position outstanding, but neither have I been made aware of what that question might be. Could you direct me to the post or comment in which I have raised questions about Theological Triage that you find unanswered or unsettling?

David Rogers

Bart,

Thanks. I’m not sure if I had read some time in the past, or if it somehow slipped past my watchful blog-reading eye. It does indeed help to clear up my questions regarding your position on theological triage, and, in a lot of ways, makes a lot of sense. I am not saying I totally agree with everything you say there. But, I do understand better where you are coming from.

David Rogers

That last comment should read:

“I’m not sure if I had read that some time in the past…”

Jake Barker

Biff,
In response to #100, according to the UM Book of Discipline, the methodists can IMMERSE, dip or sprinkle as the candidate for baptism desires. I can attest to methodists immersing, have been present & participated in a grandaughters immersion baptism.

David Worley

Jake,

I know that. Why are you telling me this? I used to be Methodist, myself. Most of the Methodist I know got sprinkled on top of the head.

David

Robert

Not only should immersion be the only way baptism is observed, I think the time they are held under should be directly related to how much sin they have in their life.

Kevin M. Crowder

Come on Robert….we wouldn’t want to drowned you. ;)

@David: How can I say this nicely…

…if you don’t like my opinion…no one is twisting your arm to read. ;)

David Worley

Kevin,

This is a blog that I’m a part owner of…you know. You’re a guest. I, also, was not the one complaining about the content. You were.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

David

Kevin M. Crowder

David,

Yes, I see where you are going with this. You claim you are right and all who disagree with you are wrong. The problem is you go further. You act as if paedobaptists are living in open rebellion. As if they just made up a doctrine to tick you off. You ought not be so self-centered. They will accept “alien” baptisms while you will not, even from those who profess Christ. Sounds legalistic to me for sure! Then in typical fashion you try and put words in my mouth like, “you don’t look at baptism as all that important.” When did I EVER say that? How dishonest of you. I said it would be better for you to ignore baptism and the Lord’s Supper than to create such a fuss over it. In that regard it is not as important that it done in accordance with your commands, as Loving your neighbor is. The church does not exist for ordinances, sacraments, and ritual observances. It exists to bring honor and glory to Christ.

Here again we have Baptists who claim to be confessional, acting creedalistic. You deny any gracious favor through the observance yet judge and condemn those who do not perform the “good work” as you like. I see a big problem with that. I am not afraid to say that…whether you threaten me or not.

Peace Bro! ;)

Jake Barker

Better watch it Kevin,
Biff will ban you like Tim did Tom Parker last week. ;=)

Jake Barker

Biff,
in response to #105….the reason? It is because you out of one side of your mouth say that you know “methodist” christians…..then out of the other side of your mouth you denigrate their method of baptism. And I’d bed you never took the time to ask if they’d been sprinkled or immersed.

Jake Barker

Sorry mis-type in last post should have been “bet”

Tim Rogers

Kevin & Jake Barker,

According to our commenting policies:

Comments that question the character or motivations of any individual are likely to be deleted. Commenters who persist in attacking others rather than dealing with issues risk being banned from commenting.

As a result of our policies, Watch this!

Tim

Christiane

Hi KEVIN,

Are you in trouble again? Oh well, try to put it into perspective. This time next year, you will have a whole new set of problems.
So what is troubling you in a way that upsets David?

My guess is probably about ‘if water baptism is truly symbolic, it should not be a bone of contention . . . . .’
That puzzles me, too.
I think I know why some denominations ‘pour’ water: it has something to do with the biblical reference to ‘the Spirit being poured out on them’
I think that’s probably it.

The truth is: the Bible says a lot about ‘contention’ between Christians. A lot more than about the ‘method of baptism’.
People choose their priorities differently for different reasons, I suppose. And that leads to MORE contention. None of it Christ-honoring.

Speaking of contention, try to stay out of trouble with David.
I know how it can be. I manage to offend everyone from time to time. :)

Jake Barker

An what may I ask was my transgression? I called no one names nor did I ascribe any motive….maybe other than an implied slothfullness on Biff’s part.

Tom Parker

Tim Rogers:

Are you getting ready to ban some others?

Jake Barker

Tom,
Welcome back….welcome to the donnybrook…..where’s CB?

Christiane

Good grief.

Bob Cleveland

And now for a word from the Idiot’s Corner…

What I was taught as a Presbyterian .. in all three Presbyterian Denominations we’ve been members of .. is that their “Baptism” is a sign of the covenant. The same covenant God made with Moses, which we’re still (their position) under, today. They taught that Jesus’ reference to the “new covenant” in His blood, is actually a new administration of the old covenant.

I didn’t buy it then, but didn’t know enough to pick a fight over theological stuff (that came when I got old).

Form: sprinkling, representative of the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost (with reference also to the deal when Jesus was baptized and the dove came…). They have some rationalizations for that, too, which I didn’t buy, either.

Why not change? Denominational pride, methinks. Thank goodness we don’t have any of that in the SBC, right?

Having taught through the BF&M several times, comparing it with the 2 prior versions, I can now say I am a Baptist by conviction.

Thoroughly.

David Worley

Jake and Kevin,

Baptism is important, because the Bible teaches that it’s important. The way we do it, and for what reason we do it, is important..again…because the Bible teaches us how it should be done, and for what reason it should be done…thus…making it important. So, if it’s important to God…important enough for Him to command it…important enough for Him to use the words that He used in the Bible to describe it(immersion)…important to teach that it doesnt save anyone, but important for our following Christ; our obedience to the LORD that we say that we love and believe in.

So, it’s important to be baptised; it’s important why you’re baptised; it’s important how you’re baptised….that is…if you’re really concerned with following Christ.

David

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