One of the distinctive features of Baptist church life is our practice of Christian Baptism. We follow the New Testament pattern of baptising those who have come to personal faith in Jesus Christ – this is commonly known as Believer’s Baptism and is normally by total immersion in water. (Note: Some people wrongly think Baptists practice Adult Baptism but the distinction is not the age of the candidate but whether or not they have made a personal decision to follow Christ).
Baptists also lay stress on the responsibility of each local church to govern its own life and affairs. The Church Meeting is the place where the members of the local Church gather together to discuss the business and make decisions seeking always to discern the mind of Christ. This emphasis on local authority does not mean we are independent from our fellow Baptist Churches instead we are inter-dependent. Whilst recognising the autonomy of each Church we gather together under the banner of the appropriate National Organisation in Scotland that is the Baptist Union of Scotland to provide training, resourcing, support and encouragement for each other.
Leadership in Baptist Churches is provided by Elders and Deacons, Elders are responsible for the spiritual welfare and oversight of the Church and one of the Elders is normally a full time Pastor. The Elders are assisted by Deacons who concentrate on the more practical aspects of Church Life such as Property and Finance. In some Baptist Churches there is a Pastor and Deacons with no one specifically identified as an Elder. This usually leads either to the Pastor being seen as a sole Elder (a position for which it is difficult to find scriptural support) or people having the name “Deacon” but functioning as both “Elders” and “Deacons” leading to confusion.
Historically, Baptists have believed that everyone should be free to worship according to their beliefs. They have stood for the separation of Church and State yet it is largely true to say that they have been in the forefront of those demonstrating that a lack of formal links between Church and State does not hamper a Christian contribution to society, but rather enhances it. Baptists have been at the forefront of many political movements such as the crusade to abolish slavery.
All claimed to believe in the whole counsel of God. Yet for most part, emphasizes and practice what they feel passionate about, even it is unscriptural.
FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES ONLY
Try explaining to a Pastor that it doesn’t matter how much he prays for his wife, she is destine to go to hell. That’s hard and depressing. Man of God, try explaining to the church that Deacon Bob is saved, although he cheats on his wife and steal the church funds, is also a child molester and a is also a “beer drinking Baptist”, you know, God is graceful.He will have mercy on Deacon Bob, when Deacon turn back to “living better” some day. But don’t worry, he is eternally secure, even if Christ burst the clouds and meet him like that. I guess we should have one wive and 1o concubies in the church, no sweat. We might as well marry gays, no sweat.
There are still other options. You can stop preach about sin, but then, will you be preaching the whole counsel of God? Matter of fact, why preach, who is save cannot be lost and who is lost, cannot be saved. “God will do His thing”
Matter of fact, what about evangelism? What about it? Why evangelize when God (s)elects who He wants to be saved? I guest all these monies spent in missions are a waste of time.Is that the reason most live luxurious lives especially in the tropics;where they are just “bling blinging” and speaking about how good life is . “God is in charge. God wants us to spend time with our familes and friends. We need to balance ministry, of course.” Are not these comments their comments?
Oh the command by Jesus was “not for us today” to go into the world.It was about their world “THING”.We are the faith people, just say the word and thing will happen. We don’t believe in doctors.(His wife just had a surgery for cancer.) We just need to get a map, pray over a location that “God has showed me in a vision”, and everything will be okay.
Friends, all these thoughts, schools, dogmas and doctrines can put us in serious trouble. This is my advise to someone: Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.1 Corinthians 13:12