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Encyclopedia > Baptists
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Christianity

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A denomination, in the Christian sense of the word, is an identifiable religious body, organization under a common name, structure, and/or doctrine. ... Christian movements are theological, political, or philosophical intepretations of Christianity that are not generally represented by a specific church, sect, or denomination. ... Christian ecumenism is the promotion of unity or cooperation between distinct religious groups or denominations of the Christian religion, more or less broadly defined. ...

Baptist churches are part of a Christian movement often regarded as an Evangelical, Protestant denomination. Baptists emphasize a believer's baptism by full immersion, which is performed after a profession of faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. A congregational governance system gives autonomy to individual local Baptist churches, which are sometimes associated in organizations such as the Southern Baptist Convention. In the late 1990s, there were about 43 million Baptists worldwide with about 33 million in the United States. History Main article: History of Christianity See also: Timeline of Christianity The history of Christianity is difficult to extricate from that of the European West (and several other culture-regions) in general. ... The word evangelicalism usually refers to a tendency in diverse branches of Protestantism, typified by an emphasis on evangelism, a personal experience of conversion, biblically-oriented faith, and a belief in the relevance of Christian faith to cultural issues. ... Protestantism is a movement within Christianity, representing a split from within the Roman Catholic Church during the mid-to-late Renaissance in Europe —a period known as the Protestant Reformation. ... A religious denomination, (also simply denomination) is a large, long-established subgroup within a religion that has been in existence for many years. ... Believer Baptism (also called credobaptism) is the Christian ritual of baptism as given only to adults and children who first proclaim to believe in Jesus as their personal savior, resurrected by the power of God the Father. ... Jesus, also known as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, most of the followers of which worship him as the Messiah, son of God, and God incarnate. ... Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation indepedently and autonomously runs its own affairs. ... The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a United States cooperative ministry agency serving missionary Baptist churches around the world. ...

Contents


Beliefs

Baptist churches do not have a central governing authority, resulting in a wide range of beliefs from one Baptist church to another. Baptist distinctives are beliefs that are common among Baptist churches, some of which are also shared with many other post-reformational denominations. Some historically significant Baptist doctrinal documents include the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, the 1833 New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith, and the Southern Baptist Convention's Baptist Faith and Message, which are often used as the "official" doctrinal statements of individual local Baptist churches or the starting point for an official statement. The Protestant Reformation was a movement which emerged in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church in Western Europe. ... The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith was written by Calvinistic Baptists in England to give a formal expression of the Reformed and Protestant Christian faith with an obvious Baptist perspective. ... The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a United States cooperative ministry agency serving missionary Baptist churches around the world. ... The Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M) is a Southern Baptist Convention confession of faith. ...


See also : List of Baptist Confessions or Doctrinal Statements 1600s 1644 First London Baptist Confession - revised in 1646 1651 The Faith and Practice of Thirty Congregations 1654 The True Gospel-Faith Declared According to the Scriptures 1656 The Somerset Confession of Faith 1655 Midland Confession of Faith 1660 The Standard Confession 1678 The Orthodox Creed 1689 Second London Baptist...


Baptist distinctives acrostic

This backronym is used by some Baptist churches as a summary of the distinctives or distinguishing beliefs of Baptists. A backronym or bacronym is a reversed acronym. ...

  • Biblical authority
  • Autonomy of the local church
  • Priesthood of all believers
  • Two ordinances (baptism and communion)
  • Individual soul liberty
  • Separation of Church and State
  • Two offices of the church (pastor and deacon)

Biblical authority

Authority of the Scriptures or sola scriptura states that the Bible is the only authoritative source of God's truth in contrast to the role of Apostolic tradition in the Roman Catholic Church. Any view that cannot be directly tied to a scriptural reference is generally considered to be based on human traditions rather than God's leading. Each person is responsible before God for his or her own understanding of the Bible and is encouraged to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. Baptists generally consider historic Christian creeds to be on lower footing in comparison to Scripture even though they may in essence agree with them. However, a group or local church may have a general "Statement of Faith" such as the Baptist Faith and Message of the Southern Baptist Convention). Sola scriptura (Latin By Scripture alone) is one of five important slogans of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. ... A creed is a statement of belief—usually religious belief—or faith. ... The Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M) is a Southern Baptist Convention confession of faith. ... The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a United States cooperative ministry agency serving missionary Baptist churches around the world. ...


Biblical inerrancy is also a common position held by fundamentalist Baptists in addition to literal interpretations of the Bible and other fundamentalist theologies. However, because of the variety allowed under congregational governance, many Baptist churches are neither literalist nor fundamentalist, although most do believe in biblical authority. Most moderate or non-fundamentalist Baptists prefer the term inspired or "God breathed" rather than inerrant to describe scripture, referring to the term Paul uses in 2 Timothy 3:16. It has been suggested that Biblical liberalism be merged into this article or section. ...


Even though it is only the Bible that is authoritative, Baptists also cite other works as illustrative of doctrine. One work which is commonly read by Baptists is the allegory Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. The Pilgrims Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come by John Bunyan (published 1678) is an allegorical novel. ... John Bunyan. ...


Autonomy of the local church (Congregationalism)

Congregationalist church governance gives autonomy to individual local churches in areas of policy, polity and doctrine. Baptist churches are not under the direct administrative control of any other body, such as a national council, or a leader such as a bishop or pope. Administration, leadership and doctrine are usually decided democratically by the lay members of each individual church, which accounts for the variation of beliefs from one Baptist church to another. Congregationalist church governance, often known as congregationalism, is a system of church governance in which every local congregation is independent. ... Autonomy is the condition of something that does not depend on anything else. ... A policy is a plan of action for tackling issues. ... Polity is a general term that refers to political organization of a group. ... Doctrine, from Latin doctrina, (compare doctor), means a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system. ...


Exceptions are some Reformed Baptists, who are organized in a Presbyterian system, the Congolese Episcopal Baptists that has an Episcopal system, and some Baptist megachurches who lean towards a strong clergy-led style, in some instances abandoning congregational governance altogether (though as independent congregations within an association, are free to adopt any style). The name Reformed Baptist does not refer to a distinct denomination but instead is a description of the churchs theological leaning. ... Presbyterianism is part of the Reformed churches family of denominations of Christian Protestantism based on the teachings of John Calvin which traces its institutional roots to the Scottish Reformation, especially as led by John Knox. ... Republic of the Congo (light green) Democratic Republic of the Congo (dark green) Congo is a name shared by two countries in both West and Central Africa: Republic of the Congo is often known as Congo-Brazzaville. It is the smaller of the two and lies to the west in... The word episcopal is derived from the Greek επισκοπος epískopos, which literally means overseer; the word, however, is used in religious contexts to refer to a bishop. ... A megachurch is a large church, frequently defined as having more than 2,000 worshippers for a typical weekly service. ...


In a manner typical of other congregationalists, many cooperative associations or conventions of Baptists have arisen. These associations were formed for missionary and other charitable work and have no authority over the operations of individual local churches. Local churches decide at what level they will participate in these associations. The largest association in the United States is the Southern Baptist Convention. The second largest is the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., which is also America's second largest predominantly African-American denomination. There are hundreds of Baptist conventions and many Independent Baptist churches do not fall into any of them, believing such associations to be unscriptural. In addition, there are sometimes very strong disputes within conventions which are often divided between Christian fundamentalists and moderates. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a United States cooperative ministry agency serving missionary Baptist churches around the world. ... The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. ... Not a denomination per se, Independent Baptist churches are Christian churches characterized by being independent from the authority of denominations and ecumenical conventions. ... Fundamentalist Christianity is a fundamentalist movement, especially within American Protestantism. ...


Priesthood of all believers

Priesthood of all believers states that every Christian has direct access to God and the truths found in the Bible without the help of an aristocracy or hierachy of priests. This doctrine is based on the passage found in 1 Peter 2:9 and was popularized by Martin Luther during the Protestant Reformation and John Wycliff's Lollards before Luther. Baptists are encouraged, though, to discuss scriptural and other issues with their minister when appropriate. The Baptist position of the priesthood of all believers is one column that upholds their belief in religious liberty. The priesthood of all believers is a Protestant doctrine founded on the First Epistle of Peter, 2:9: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into... Luther at age 46 (Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1529) The Luther seal Martin Luther (November 10, 1483–February 18, 1546) was a German theologian, an Augustinian monk, and an ecclesiastical reformer whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions. ... The Protestant Reformation was a movement which emerged in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church in Western Europe. ... Wycliffe may also refer to Wycliffe Bible Translators John Wyclif (or Wycliffe) (1328 - December 31, 1384) was an English theologian and early proponent of reform in the Roman Catholic Church during the 14th century. ... Lollardy or Lollardry was the political and religious movement of the Lollards in late 14th century and early 15th century England. ...


Two ordinances (Baptism and Communion)

Generally, Baptist churches recognize only two Biblical ordinances that are to be performed on a regular basis by churches: baptism and communion. Some churches, including some Free Will Baptists, also practice foot washing as a third ordinance. Free Will Baptist Church - a group of churches that share a common history, name, and an acceptance of the Arminian theology of free grace, free salvation, free will, based on the idea of general atonement, and an Amillenial view of Eschatology. ... Feet washing is a religious rite observed as an ordinance by several Christian denominations. ...


Believer's baptism

Baptism, commonly referred to as Believer's baptism, is an ordinance that, according to Baptist doctrine, plays no role in salvation, and is performed after a person professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is an outward expression that is symbolic of the inward cleansing or remission of their sins that has already taken place. It is also a public identification of that person with Christianity and with that particular local church. Most Baptist churches use baptism by full immersion, subsequent to salvation, as a criterion for membership. Believer Baptism (also called credobaptism) is the Christian ritual of baptism as given only to adults and children who first proclaim to believe in Jesus as their personal savior, resurrected by the power of God the Father. ...


Through Anabaptist influence, Baptists reject the practice of pedobaptism (infant baptism) because they believe parents cannot make a decision of salvation for an infant. Related to this doctrine is the disputed concept of an "age of accountability" when God determines that a mentally capable person is accountable for their sins and eligible for baptism. This is not necessarily a specific age, but is based on whether or not the person is mentally capable of knowing right from wrong. Thus, a person with severe mental retardation may never reach this age, and therefore would not be held accountable for sins. Anabaptists (Greek ana+baptizo re-baptizers, German: Wiedertäufer) are Christians of the so-called radical wing of the Protestant Reformation. ... Infant baptism (also called paedobaptism and pedobaptism), the baptism of the infant children of believers, is an ancient custom of much of Christianity, including the Roman Catholic church, the Orthodox churches, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Methodists, to name a few. ... Coming of age is a young persons formal transition from adolescence to adulthood. ...


Baptists emphasize baptism by full immersion, the mode presumed to have been used by John the Baptist. This consists of lowering the candidate in water backwards while the baptizer (a pastor or any baptised believer) invokes the Trinitarian formula of Matthew 28:19 or other words concerning a profession of faith. This mode is also preferred for its parallel imagery to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Baptism is a water purification ritual practiced in certain religions such as Christianity, Mandaeanism, and Sikhism, and has its origins with the Jewish ritual of mikvah. ... The Baptism of Christ, by Piero della Francesca, 1449 John the Baptist (also called John the Baptizer or Yahya the Baptizer) is regarded as a prophet by at least three religions: Christianity, Islam, and Mandaeanism. ... Jesus, also known as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, most of the followers of which worship him as the Messiah, son of God, and God incarnate. ...


Recognition of baptisms by other modes and Christian groups vary. Many Baptist churches only recognize baptism by full immersion as being valid, while a few will baptise by sprinkling as a practical alternative for the disabled or elderly or in times of drought. Some Baptist churches will recognize adult baptisms performed in other orthodox Christian churches, while others only recognize baptisms performed in Baptist churches. In rare instances, a church may recognize only its own baptisms as valid.


Communion

Communion, which is alternately called "The Lord's Supper", is an ordinance patterned after the Last Supper recorded in the Gospels which Jesus says to "do this in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19). Participants communally eat the bread and drink the cup that are representative of the body and blood of Jesus. Baptists emphasize that the remembrance is symbolic of Christ's body and reject literal views of communion such as transubstantiation and consubstantiation held by other Christian groups based on their interpretation of John 6. 1 Corinthians 11:23-34 is also commonly cited as instructional for the practice of Communion. Many Baptists refuse to refer to this ordinance as Communion due to its prominent use by the Roman Catholic Church and instead use the alternate "The Lord's Supper". This article relates the event related in the New Testament of the Bible, see The Last Supper (disambiguation) for other uses, including a list of famous works of art with this name. ... For the genre of Christian-themed music, see gospel music. ... Transubstantiation is the belief held by many Christian denominations that the Eucharistic elements of bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Jesus during Consecration. ... Consubstantiation is a theory which (like the competing theory of transubstantiation, with which it is often contrasted) attempts to describe the nature of the Christian Eucharist in terms of philosophical metaphysics. ... The Catholic Church, known also as the Roman Catholic Church, is the Christian Church whose visible head is the Pope, currently Benedict XVI. It teaches that it is the one holy catholic and apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ, and that the sole Church of Christ which in the Creed...


The bread used in the service may be cubes of unleavened bread, wafers or small crackers, generally of an unleavened variety which is thought to be the type used at the Last Supper. The general Baptist embracing of the Temperance movement, prohibition, and teetotalism in the U.S. led to the practice of using non-alcoholic grape juice for the cup, but some Baptists do use wine. The grape juice is typically served in small individual glasses, though some churches use one large cup for the entire congregation. Many church buildings are equipped with round receptacles on the rear of the pews for depositing the empty glasses after the service. Both "elements" of the bread and the cup are usually served by the pastor to the deacons, and by the deacons to the congregation. The general practice is for the elements to be taken by the congregation as a whole as a symbol of unity, first the bread and then the cup separately, although sometimes both elements are taken together. A Temperance Movement (see definition of temperance) attempts to greatly reduce the amount of alcohol consumed or even prohibit its production and consumption entirely. ... Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol. ... Teetotalism is the practice or promotion of complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages. ...


Communion services may be held weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annually. It usually takes place at the end of a normal service, but may take place at any time during the service. Participation may be either "closed" (only members of that church can participate), "cracked" (members of other Baptist churches may participate, but not of other denominations), or "open" (anyone professing to be a Christian may participate).


Individual soul liberty

The basic concept of individual soul liberty is that, in matters of religion, each person has the liberty to choose what his/her conscience or soul dictates is right, and is responsible to no one but God for the decision that is made. A person may then choose to be a Baptist, a member of another Christian denomination, an adherent to another world religion, or to choose no religious belief system, and neither the church, nor the government, nor family or friends may either make the decision or compel the person to choose otherwise. And, a person may change his/her mind over time.


Separation of church and state

Main article: Baptists in the history of separation of church and state Some important Baptist figures in the struggle for Separation of Church and State were John Smyth, Thomas Helwys, Edward Wightman, Leonard Busher, Roger Williams (who was a Baptist for a short period but became a seeker), John Clarke, Isaac Backus, and John Leland. ...


Baptists who were imprisoned or died for their beliefs have played an important role in the historical struggle for freedom of religion and separation of church and state in England, the United States, and other countries. In 1612 John Smyth wrote, "the magistrate is not by virtue of his office to meddle with religion, or matters of conscience". That same year, Thomas Helwys wrote that the King of England could "command what of man he will, and we are to obey it," but concerning the church -- "with this Kingdom, our lord the King hath nothing to do." In 1614, Leonard Busher wrote what is believed to be the earliest Baptist treatise dealing exclusively with the subject of religious liberty. Baptists were influential in the formation of the first civil government based on the separation of church and state in what is now Rhode Island. Anabaptists and Quakers also share a strong history in the development of separation of church and state. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The separation of church and state is a concept and philosophy in modern thought and practice, whereby the structures of state or national government are proposed as needing to be separate from those of religious institutions. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area - Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population - Total (mid-2004) - Density Ranked 1st UK 50. ... Events January 20 - Mathias becomes Holy Roman Emperor. ... John Smyth (1570 - c. ... Thomas Helwys, born c. ... Events April 5 - In Virginia, Native American Pocahontas marries English colonist John Rolfe. ... Anabaptists (re-baptizers, from Greek ana and baptizo; in German: Wiedertäufer) are Christians of the so-called radical wing of the Protestant Reformation. ... The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, or Friends, is a religious community founded in England in the 17th century. ...


The original objection was opposition of the monarchy or government setting religious agenda for churches or a "National Church" and did not imply a retreat by Christians from the political realm or involvement in the political process. Modern debates about church and state separation involve disagreements about the extent to which Christian groups are able to, or should, set the legal and moral agenda for the government, and conversely whether government is preventing Christians and Christian groups from equal access to public forums.


Currently in the United States, Baptist involvement in politics often involves controversies concerning gambling, alcohol, abortion, same-sex marriage, the teaching of evolution and state-sanctioned public prayer in public high schools. In parts of the Southern United States, Baptists form a majority of the population and have successfully banned alcohol sales and prevented the legalization of certain kinds of gambling. Gambling (or betting) is any behavior involving risking money or property (making a wager or placing a stake) on the outcome of a game, contest, or other event in which the outcome of that activity depends partially or totally upon chance or upon ones ability to do something. ... In general usage, alcohol (from Arabic al-ghawl الغول) refers almost always to ethanol, also known as grain alcohol, and often to any beverage that contains ethanol (see alcoholic beverage). ... Same-sex marriage is marriage between individuals who are of the same legal or biological sex. ... A phylogenetic tree of all living things, based on rRNA gene data, showing the separation of the three domains, bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes, as described initially by Carl Woese. ... The Japanese word for a high school is kōtōgakkō (高等学校; literally high school), or kōkō (高校) in short. ... The Southern United States or the South constitute a distinctive region covering a large portion of the United States. ... A dry county is a county in the United States whose government forbids the sale of alcoholic beverages. ...


Two offices (Pastor and Deacon)

Generally Baptists only recognize two Scriptural offices, those of pastor and deacon. The office of elder, common in some evangelical churches, is usually considered by Baptists to be the same as that of pastor, and not a separate office. Pastor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Deacon is a role in the Christian Church which is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. ... A religious elder (in Greek, presbuteros) is valued for his or her wisdom, in part for their age, by the logic that the older one is then the more one is likely to know. ... The word evangelicalism usually refers to a tendency in diverse branches of Protestantism, typified by an emphasis on evangelism, a personal experience of conversion, biblically-oriented faith, and a belief in the relevance of Christian faith to cultural issues. ...


The prevalent view among Baptists is that these offices are limited to men only, following the model of Christ and His apostles. However, the issue of women pastors/deacons has surfaced as controversy in some churches and denominations. Christ is the English representation of the Greek word Χριστός (transliterated as Khristós), which means anointed and in Latin Iesus. ... Alternate meaning: See Apostle (Mormonism) The Christian Apostles were Jewish men chosen from among the disciples, who were sent forth (as indicated by the Greek word απόστολος apostolos= messenger), by Jesus to preach the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles, across the world. ...


Pastor

In the Baptist church, the primary role of pastor is to deliver the weekly sermon.


In smaller churches, the pastor will often visit homes and hospitals to call on ill members, as well as homes of prospective members (especially those who have not made salvation decisions). The pastor will also perform weddings and funerals for members, and at business meetings serve as the moderator. The pastor may also be required to find outside work to supplement his income.


Larger churches will usually have one or more "associate" pastors, each with a specific area of responsibility, whereby the overall pastor is considered the "senior" pastor. Some examples are:

  • music (the most common)
  • youth (in smaller churches, often combined with music)
  • children
  • administration (in the larger churches)

In the majority of instances, the pastor will be married with children (associate pastors may or may not be married, but if not married will find it difficult to be considered for a senior pastor position by other churches).


Deacon

The main role of the deacon is to assist the pastor with members' needs. Deacons also assist during communion.


A common practice is for each family to be assigned a specific deacon, to be the primary point of contact whenever a need arises.


Some larger megachurches, especially those using cell groups, use the cell group leader(s) to function in the role of deacon(s).


Deacons are usually chosen from members who have demonstrated exceptional Christian piety, and serve without pay.


Justification by faith

Justification by faith or sola fide states that it is by faith alone that we receive salvation and not through any works of our own. Baptists have a strong emphasis on the concept of salvation. Baptist theology teaches that humans have been contaminated by the sin of Adam and Eve's rebellion against God and that for this sin we are condemned to damnation. The theology holds that Christ died on the cross to give humans the promise of everlasting life, but that this requires that each individual willfully accepts Christ into his life and repents of sin. Nevertheless, the Baptist view of soteriology runs the gamut from Calvinism to Arminianism. Sola fide (by faith alone), also historically known as the justification of faith, is a doctrine that distinguishes Protestant denominations from Catholicism and Eastern Christianity in Christianity. ... Salvation refers to deliverance from undesirable state or condition. ... Christ is the English representation of the Greek word Χριστός (transliterated as Khristós), which means anointed and in Latin Iesus. ... Baptist comes from the Greek word baptistès (to submerge), and the Latin baptista, and is in direct connection to the baptiser, John the Baptist. As a first name it is used in Europe from the 12th century also as Baptiste, Jan-Baptiste, Jean-Baptiste, John-Baptist. ... In Christianity, salvation is arguably the most important spiritual concept, second only to the divinity of Jesus. ... Calvinism is a system of Christian theology advanced by John Calvin, a Protestant Reformer in the 16th century, and further developed by his followers, associates and admirers. ... For the Armenian nationality, see Armenia or the Armenian language. ...


Beliefs that vary among Baptists

Because of the congregational style of church governance on doctrine, doctrine on the following issues often varies greatly between one Baptist church and another.

Baptists generally believe in the literal Second Coming of Christ at which time God will sit in judgment and divide humanity between the saved and the lost (the Great White Throne judgment Book of Revelation 20:11) and Christ will sit in judgment of the believers (the Judgment Seat of Christ Second Epistle to the Corinthians 5:10), rewarding them for things done while alive. Amillennialism, dispensationalism, and historic premillennialism stand as the main eschatological views of Baptists, with views such as postmillennialism and preterism receiving only scant support. The Doctrine of separation, also known as the doctrine of non-fellowship, is a belief among some religious groups that the members of a church should be separate from the world and not have association with those who are of the world. ... Calvinism is a system of Christian theology advanced by John Calvin, a Protestant Reformer in the 16th century, and further developed by his followers, associates and admirers. ... For the Armenian nationality, see Armenia or the Armenian language. ... For the genre of Christian-themed music, see gospel music. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Within Christianity the word communion can refer to: Communion - a close relationship between Christian Churches or communities, and by metonomy a group of such Churches or communities that recognize the existence between them of such a relationship, especially if it can be characterized as full communion The Communion of Saints... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The prophecies of a Second Coming are various and span across many religions and cultures. ... Visions of John the Evangelist, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ... See also: First Epistle to the Corinthians and Third Epistle to the Corinthians The Second Epistle to the Corinthians is a book of the Bible New Testament. ... Amillennialism (or nunc-millennialism) is a partial preteristic form of Christian Eschatology which teaches a very symbolic interpretation of the Biblical prophecy of the end times. ... Dispensationalism is a conceptual overview and interpretive framework for understanding the overall flow of the Bible. ... This article specifically relates to Premillennialism in Christian eschatology, for political millenarianism and other uses of the word see Millennialism Premillennialism in Christian eschatology is the interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation in the Bible which sees Christs second coming as occuring before or pre- his... Postmillennialism is a version of Christian eschatology. ... Preterism is a variant of Christian eschatology which deals with the position of past-fulfilment of the Last Days (or End Times) prophecies in varying degrees. ...


Comparisons with other denominations

Baptists share certain emphasis with other groups such as evangelism and missions. While the general flavor of any denomination changes from city to city, this aspect of Baptist churches is much more prominent than in most Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran and Presbyterian churches. Evangelism is the preaching of the Christian Gospel, or by extension any other form of preaching or proselytizing. ... Since the Lausanne Congress of 1974, a widely-accepted definition of a Christian mission has been to form a viable indigenous church-planting movement. ... The term Anglican describes those people and churches following the religious traditions of the Church of England, especially following the Reformation. ... The Methodist movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity. ... The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ... Presbyterianism is part of the Reformed churches family of denominations of Christian Protestantism based on the teachings of John Calvin which traces its institutional roots to the Scottish Reformation, especially as led by John Knox. ...


The Pacifism of the Anabaptists and the Quakers is not an ideal held by most Baptists. The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America was organized in 1984 to promote peace, justice, and non-violence, but it does not speak for all Baptists that accept the ideal of pacifism. Moreover, Baptists are strongest in the southern United States, an area known for strong support of the military and thus generally not supportive of pacifist views. Vereschagins painting Apotheosis of War (1871) came to be admired as one of the earliest artistic expressions of pacifism. ... Anabaptists (re-baptizers, from Greek ana and baptizo; in German: Wiedertäufer) are Christians of the so-called radical wing of the Protestant Reformation. ... The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA) is an organization of Baptist Christians for uniting in efforts for peace throughout the world. ... This page is about the year 1984. ...


In Australia, the Baptist Union is very close to the Campbell-Stone Church of Christ. The two groups share similar theology, even sharing a bible college. The Churches of Christ are a body of autonomous Christian congregations. ...


For the most part, Baptists strongly disagree with Pentecostal and charismatic teachings, specifically the practice of speaking in tongues. The Pentecostal movement within Protestant Christianity places special emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. ... Charismatic is an umbrella term used to describe those Christians who believe that the manifestations of the Holy Spirit seen in the first century Christian Church, such as healing, miracles and glossolalia, are available to contemporary Christians and ought to be experienced and practiced today. ... Released on September 27, 2005 by 845Ent. ...


Worship style

The focus of Baptist church services is the sermon. This can be seen in traditional Baptist church architecture--the pulpit, which is symbolic of proclamation of the Word of God, is the largest piece of furniture and centered on the platform, while the communion table placed below it in a symbolically "subservient" position (in sharp contrast to the Roman Catholic church which places the communion table at the center of the platform, since communion is the focus of its services, while the pulpit is off to one side). However, some of the modern megachurches have abandoned traditional architecture in favor of an entertainment-type stage, where a small podium and chair are brought out after the musical worship is complete. For other uses of Ambo, see Ambo, Ethiopia and ambulance. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ...


Sermons often range in time from 30-60 minutes. They range in style from expository sermons that focus on one biblical passage and interpret its meaning, to topical sermons which address an issue of concern and investigate several biblical passages related to that topic. Expository preaching is preaching that expounds upon the meaning of a particular text or passage of Scripture. ...


The sermon is often surrounded by periods of musical worship lead by a song leader, choir or band. Musical style varies between hymns and Contemporary Christian music with many churches choosing a blend of the two. The choice in music style is often correlated to the predominant age of the members, with older congregations preferring traditional hymns played with piano and/or organ (the latter is becoming less frequent due to fewer organists) and featuring a choir, while younger congregations prefer contemporary music with modern instruments and no choir. Larger churches may have a full orchestra along with the choir. Some fundamentalist Baptists will only sing hymns (which usually includes songs in their hymnals written between the 1700s and the 1950s) and generally oppose the use of drums and/or electric guitar in their services because they associate those instruments with rock music. See also hymn - a program to decrypt iTunes music files. ... With Footnotes 2nd Chapter of Acts (1974) Contemporary Christian Music (or CCM) is a somewhat outdated term originally used in the 1970s to describe a new form of pop/rock music that was lyrically based in the Christian faith. ... See also hymn - a program to decrypt iTunes music files. ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ...


Other common features in a Baptist church service include the collection of offering, an altar call, a period of announcements and Communion. Most Baptist congregations are small in number with membership under 200 people while other congregations are megachurches with membership in the tens of thousands. A megachurch is a large church, frequently defined as having more than 2,000 worshippers for a typical weekly service. ...


Origins

There are several views about the origins of Baptists within the Baptist church.


Landmarkist

Landmarkism is the belief that Baptist churches and traditions have preceded the Catholic Church and have been around since the time of John the Baptist and Christ. Proponents believe that Baptist traditions have been passed down through a succession of visible congregations of Christians that were Baptist in doctrine and practice, but not necessarily in name. This view is theologically based on Matthew 16:18 , "...and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." and a rejection of Catholicism as part of the historical origins of Baptists. Though numerous churches and some organizations use the terms Landmark and Landmark Baptist in their name, there is no identifiable sub-group of Baptists known as the Landmark Baptist Church. ... The Baptism of Christ, by Piero della Francesca, 1449 John the Baptist (also called John the Baptizer or Yahya the Baptizer) is regarded as a prophet by at least three religions: Christianity, Islam, and Mandaeanism. ... Christ is the English representation of the Greek word Χριστός (transliterated as Khristós), which means anointed and in Latin Iesus. ...


This succession grants Baptist churches the status of being unstained and separate from what they see as the corruptions of Catholicism and other denominations. It also allows for the view that Baptists predate the Catholic church and is therefore not part of the Reformation or the Protestant movement. Alexander Campbell of the Restoration Movement was a strong promoter of this idea. This article considers Catholicism in the broadest ecclesiastical sense. ... A religious denomination, (also simply denomination) is a large, long-established subgroup within a religion that has been in existence for many years. ... Alexander Campbell (September 12, 1788 – March 4, 1866) was an early leader of a movement that began in 1800 with the goal of removing divisions between Christians, by returning believers in the New Testament to principles of Truth and Union. ... For information related to Dispensational Christian views regarding Jewish people in the End times see Restorationism The Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement (or simply, Restoration Movement) is a religious reform movement born in the early 1800s in the United States. ...


J. M. Carroll's The Trail of Blood, written in 1931, is commonly presented to defend this origin's view. Several groups considered to be part of this Baptist succession were groups persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church throughout history including Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Paulicians, Albigensians, Catharists, Waldenses, and Anabaptists. While some of these groups shared a few theological positions with current Baptists, many held positions that would now be considered heretical by current Baptists. It is also difficult to show historical connections between those groups which were often separated by large gaps in geography and time. 1931 is a common year starting on Thursday. ... Montanism was an early Christian sectarian movement of the mid-2nd century A.D., named after its founder Montanus. ... The Novatianists following Novatius, or Novatian, held a strict view that refused readmission to communion of those baptized Christians who had denied their faith or performed the formalities of a ritual sacrifice to the pagan gods, under the pressures of the persecution sanctioned by Emperor Decius, in 250 A.D... The Donatists (founded by the Berber christian Donatus) were followers of a belief considered a heresy by the Roman Catholic Church. ... Bogomils was the name of an ancient Gnostic religious community which is thought to have originated in Bulgaria. ... Albigensians are the inhabitants of Albi, France. ... Cathars being expelled from Carcassone in 1209. ... The Waldensians were followers of Peter Waldo (or Valdes or Vaudes); they called themselves the Poor men of Lyon, the Poor of Lombardy, or the Poor. ... Anabaptists (re-baptizers, from Greek ana and baptizo; in German: Wiedertäufer) are Christians of the so-called radical wing of the Protestant Reformation. ...


The works of John T. Christian offer the best presentation of this viewpoint. John Taylor Christian (1854–1925) was a Baptist preacher, author and educator. ...


Anabaptist

Anabaptists (Mennonites, Amish, Hutterites) were a group in the 1500s that rejected infant baptism and "rebaptized" members as adults. They share many teachings of the early Baptists, such as the believer's baptism and religious freedom and were probably influential in the development of many Baptist characteristics. While their names suggest some connection, some Anabaptists differed from the Baptists on many other issues such as pacifism and the communal sharing of material goods. Anabaptists (re-baptizers, from Greek ana and baptizo; in German: Wiedertäufer) are Christians of the so-called radical wing of the Protestant Reformation. ... The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations based on the teachings and tradition of Menno Simons. ... Amish couple in a horse-drawn buggy in rural Holmes County, Ohio, the site of one of the largest concentrations of Amish in the United States The Amish are a denomination of Anabaptists noted for their restrictions on the use of modern devices such as automobiles and electricity. ... Like the two best-known Anabaptist denominations, the Amish and the Mennonites, the Hutterites had their beginnings in the Radical Reformation of the 16th Century. ... Believer Baptism (also called credobaptism) is the Christian ritual of baptism as given only to adults and children who first proclaim to believe in Jesus as their personal savior, resurrected by the power of God the Father. ... Freedom of religion is the individuals right or freedom to hold whatever religious beliefs he or she wishes, or none at all. ... Vereschagins painting Apotheosis of War (1871) came to be admired as one of the earliest artistic expressions of pacifism. ... Community is a set of people (or agents in a more abstract sense) with some shared element. ...


It is difficult to say how much influence the Anabaptists had on the actual formation of Baptist churches. One of the strongest relationships between the two groups happened when John Smyth's General Baptists attempted but failed to merge with the Mennonites. Baptists were first identified by the name General Baptists in 17th century England. ...


The works of William Roscoe Estep offer the best presentation of this viewpoint. William Roscoe Estep (February 12, 1920 - July 14, 2000) was an American Baptist historian and professor. ...


Separatist

This view suggests that Baptists were originally separatists in the Puritan reaction to perceived corruptions in the Church of England in the 1600s. In 1609, John Smyth led a group of separatists to the Netherlands to start the General Baptist church with an Arminian theology. In 1616, Henry Jacob led a group of Puritans in England with a Calvinist theology to form a congregational church that would eventually become the Particular Baptists in 1638 under John Spilsbury. Both groups had members who sailed to America as pilgrims to avoid religious persecution in England and Europe and who started Baptist churches in the early colonies. The Particular and General Baptists would disagree over Arminianism and Calvinism until the formation of the Baptist Union of Great Britain in the 1800s under Andrew Fuller and William Carey for the purpose of missions. American Baptists soon followed suit. The Puritans were members of a group of English Protestants seeking further reforms or even separation from the established church during the Reformation. ... The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion. ... John Smyth (1570 - c. ... Baptists were first identified by the name General Baptists in 17th century England. ... Arminianism is a Protestant Christian theology founded by the Dutch theologian Jacobus Arminius. ... In an unadorned church, the 17th century congregation stands to hear the sermon. ... The name Reformed Baptist does not refer to a distinct denomination but instead is a description of the churchs theological leaning. ... John Spilsbury is a name shared by a number of people: John Spilsbury (Baptist minister), leader of the Particular Baptists in 17th-century England John Spilsbury (mapmaker), London mapmaker and engraver who invented the jigsaw puzzle John Spilsbury (cricketer), English cricketer This is a disambiguation page, a list of pages... Pilgrims Going to Church by George Henry Boughton (1867) The Pilgrims were a group of English religious separatists who sailed from Europe to North America in the early 17th century, in search of a home where they could freely practice their Puritan style of religion, and live according to their... Baptist Union of Great Britain - the oldest and largest national association of Great Britain. ... Andrew Fuller (1754-1815) was an eminent Baptist minister, born in Cambridgeshire, and settled at Kettering. ... William Carey (August 17, 1761 – June 9, 1834) was an English missionary and Baptist minister, known as the father of modern missions. ...


This is the most common view held by modern Baptists, which is found represented in the works of H. Leon McBeth and many others.


Questions of labeling

Some Baptists object to the application of the labels Protestant, denomination, Evangelical and even Baptist to themselves or their churches, while others accept those labels. Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... A religious denomination, (also simply denomination) is a large, long-established subgroup within a religion that has been in existence for many years. ... The word evangelicalism usually refers to a tendency in diverse branches of Protestantism, typified by an emphasis on evangelism, a personal experience of conversion, biblically-oriented faith, and a belief in the relevance of Christian faith to cultural issues. ...


Those who reject the label Baptist prefer to be labeled as Christians who attend Baptist churches. Also, a recent trend is to eliminate the name "Baptist" from the church name, as it is perceived to be a "barrier" to reaching persons of no church background who have negative views of Baptists. Conversely, others accept the label Baptist because they identify with the distinctives they consider to be uniquely Baptist, and believe those who are removing the name "Baptist" from their churches are "compromising with the world" in order to attract more members.


The name Protestant is rejected by some Baptists because Baptists do not have a direct connection to Luther, Calvin or the Roman Catholic Church. They do not feel that they are "protesting: anything; Landmark Baptists believe they actually pre-date the Roman Catholic Church. Other Baptists accept the Protestant label as a demographic concept that describes churches who share similar theologies of sola scriptura, sola fide, the priesthood of all believers and other positions that Luther, Calvin and traditional reformers held in contrast to the Roman Catholic Church in the 1500s. Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... Luther at age 46 (Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1529) The Luther seal Martin Luther (November 10, 1483–February 18, 1546) was a German theologian, an Augustinian monk, and an ecclesiastical reformer whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions. ... John Calvin (July 10, 1509 – May 27, 1564) was a prominent Christian theologian during the Protestant Reformation and is the namesake of the system of Christian theology called Calvinism. ... The Catholic Church, known also as the Roman Catholic Church, is the Christian Church whose visible head is the Pope, currently Benedict XVI. It teaches that it is the one holy catholic and apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ, and that the sole Church of Christ which in the Creed... Sola scriptura (Latin By Scripture alone) is one of five important slogans of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. ... Sola fide (by faith alone), also historically known as the justification of faith, is a doctrine that distinguishes Protestant denominations from Catholicism and Eastern Christianity in Christianity. ...


The label denomination is rejected by some because of the local autonomous governance system used by Baptist churches. Being a denomination is viewed as having a hierarchy that substitutes for the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. Another reason for the rejection of the label is the influence of the Restoration period on Baptist churches, which emphasized a tearing down of denominational barriers. Other Baptists accept the label, feeling that it does not carry a negative connotation but rather is merely a synonym for a Christian or religious group. A religious denomination, (also simply denomination) is a large, long-established subgroup within a religion that has been in existence for many years. ... This article deals with the restoration of Christian authenticity in worship and living; see Supersessionism for a discussion regarding Restorationism in Dispensational Christian views towards Jewish people in the End times. ...


The label Evangelical is rejected by some fundamentalist Baptists who consider the term to describe a theological position that is not fundamentalist enough. It is rejected by some liberal Baptists who consider the term to describe a theological position that is too conservative. It is accepted by moderate Baptists who identify with the revival in the United States in the 1700s known as the First Great Awakening. The word evangelicalism usually refers to a tendency in diverse branches of Protestantism, typified by an emphasis on evangelism, a personal experience of conversion, biblically-oriented faith, and a belief in the relevance of Christian faith to cultural issues. ... The First Great Awakening was a religious movement among American colonial Protestants in the 1730s and 1740s. ...


See also

List of Baptist sub-denominations - a list of subdivisions of Baptists, with their various Baptist associations, conferences, conventions, fellowships, groups, and unions around the world By location (listed by the original or dominant geographical location of the body, though the group may extend beyond these boundaries) Africa Central Africa Association... Preachers/Pastors/Theologians Bunyan, John Carey, William Chambers, Oswald Cox, Harvey Dayton, Amos Cooper Falwell, Jerry Graham, Billy Graves, James Robinson Grenz, Stanley Hyles, Jack Judson, Adoniram King Jr, Martin Luther Latourette, Kenneth Scott Leland, John Meyer, F. B. Mohler, Albert Pawson, David Piper, John Pollard, Vic Rice, John R...

Other resources

  • American Baptist Historical Society
  • Map of USA showing Percentage of Baptist Population in each county

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The Baptist Faith & Message (317 words)
"Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches.
Baptist churches, associations, and general bodies have adopted confessions of faith as a witness to the world, and as instruments of doctrinal accountability.
We are not embarrassed to state before the world that these are doctrines we hold precious and as essential to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice.
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