"We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the reformation, we were reformers before Luther and Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel under ground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a Government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor, I believe, any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man. We have ever been ready to suffer, as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State, to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with Government, and we will never make the Church, although the Queen, the despot over the consciences of men." Charles H. Splurgeon.
Yet Mr. Spurgeon's church was names, M Tabernacle.
Whereas the name "Baptist" was not found in Scripture, really it isn't. John The Baptist was not a pastor nor a church. Nevertheless to me the name means those who have the beliefs that is found in the Word of God.
There are a number of books that will give you the History of the Baptist movement. But that is not the purpose of this article. What do I believe as a Baptist?
While we believe that the doctrines we hold is that of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Jesus or Peter or John or Matthew would not have been known in their day as a Baptist. Sorry, but the term "baptist" was not know in Jesus's day. What I believe, a Baptist should be is one who believes the Bible. Which is of course what every church believes they believe, the Bible.
And of course every Baptist Church will have different viewpoints as to what the believe the Bible say. It's so easy to say, "I believe the Bible is God's Word, and I believe it".
In my frame of thinking, the Bible has only one meaning and one interpretation. Yet two preachers in a Baptist Church will have a different point of view about what the bible is staying about most doctrines.
I am a Baptist because my Dad was a Baptist. I am an independent baptist because my Dad was one of those kind of Baptist.
Do I believe that Baptist are the only true church? NO. Just because a church has the name Baptist in their church name, do I believe they are the kind of Baptist I am.
WHAT KIND OF BAPTIST ARE YOU, YOU MIGHT SAY>
Just BAPTIST. If you put a prefex in front of Baptist, you are labeling and particular kind of Baptist. So you could be a Southern Baptist which would be different than a Free Will Baptist. You could be a Northern Baptist or a Particular Baptist, or Hard shell Baptist. By giving the Baptist a name, you are giving its distinctions.
You might say, I am a John R. Rice kind of Baptist, you might say I am a Jack Hyles kind of Baptist, you might say I am a J. Frank Norris kind of Baptist. Jerry Falwell was a Baptist. DeWayne Prossor is a Baptist. Bob Temple, Sr. is a Baptist. Roy Johnson is a Baptist. Charles Stanley is a Baptist. David Jeremiah is a Baptist. And within all these men, all are great men of God, but they all have different viewpoints on church life.
But I am not a Jack Hyles Baptist, nor a J. Frank Norris Baptist, etc. As a matter of fact, many of my baptist preacher friends would say I am not really a Baptist. Why? Because to them a Baptist means different things to them than it does to me. They would say to me, "Charles, you may be correct to use those terms, because they are in the bible, but they are not baptist terms."
I have heard preachers say, "It is just not a Baptist Church." Meaning the church doesn't do what they believe a Baptist church should do.
When you say "We are a Baptist Church in Scioto County," that could mean just about anything. You have to add prefixes in front of Baptist to just start to give people a mean of what kind of Baptist you are.
Independent, Fundamental, Missionary, Premilluminal, KJV, Pretribulation, Israel, Traditional, Non tongues, WBF, IBFI, Pastor control, Services only on Sunday, at 10 and 11 and 6, the Bible only kind of Baptist.
SO WHAT KIND OF BAPTIST ARE YOU?
I am not going to push "Baptist" as much as I am going to push Christ. I am going to say more about what we believe and what we preach, and who we believe we should be as Christians.