WHY BAPTISTS AREN'T PROTESTANTSsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #christian-trail2 years ago (edited)

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Matthew 16:13-20 (KJV)
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

As I approached the end of our preaching through the book of Titus, I began asking the Lord for some direction for what should be my next target in preaching.

It’s getting close to the end of the year and we’ll have a number of special things happen:
• Revival
• Thanksgiving
• Christmas
I have a couple of series of Bible messages I want to preach but I would really rather wait until the first of the year to begin them.

So, with some encouragement from Pastor Caleb, I thought I would take up the rest of the year with some messages designed to attempt an answer for some questions you might have.

I want to begin tonight with a message on
Why Aren’t Baptists Protestants?

Some of you have no doubt heard a Baptist preacher, maybe me, say that.

Baptists are not Protestants.

Those of us who believe it are pretty emphatic about it.
And you might even have repeated it yourself because you’ve heard us say it.

I want to try to help you understand:
• Why it is true and
• Why it’s important

I would suggest that there are:
• Some who do not know it is true
• Some who do not believe it is true and
• Some who do not think it matters if it is true

In order for me to accomplish my effort:
• I am going to have to give you some doctrine
• I am going to have to give you some history and
• I am going to have to give you some application

First
I. SOME DOCTRINE
Matthew 16:18 (KJV)
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Hold on to that passage for just a minute.

Over the course of my own faith I have spent a fair amount of time studying the Christian faith.
It has always seemed to me that denominations, of such widely differing doctrines cannot all be correct.

There has to be something that is right and
There has to be something that is heresy or wrong

It might be that, within what is right there is some “breathing room” to take into account the human conscience.

And, it is for certain that within what is heresy there is room for a lot of variety. More than one thing is wrong. Probably there is more that is wrong than there is that is right in the world of heresy.

As I’ve studied the Word of God and compared it with the varying doctrines that are and have been taught, I’ve come to define what is doctrinally right under just three main concepts.

I want to give some latitude.
I understand that a person doesn’t have to see things exactly as I do to be in the realm of truth.

At first I would have said that there are eight doctrine principles that define what is truth. Those eight doctrines can be classed under the acronym, BAPTISTS.
B biblical authority
A autonomy of the local church
P priesthood of the believers
T two offices, pastor and deacon
I individual soul liberty
S saved baptized church membership
T two ordinances, baptism and Lord’s Supper
S separation of church and state

I continue to believe that is a good definition of a scriptural Baptist church.

I see none of those that are incorrect and none that I believe are optional.

But I have come to define the church Jesus said He would build with a little broader brush.

I see the church Jesus said He would build as holding to three doctrines of preservation:
A. The preservation of the Scriptures
Psalms 12:6-7 (KJV)
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

God has given us a sure Word of God.

By the way He gave us something better than reliable. His Word is preserved and infallible.

I would run away as fast as I could from any pastor, and the congregation he presides over, who says, our Bible is reliable.

That’s code for (but it does have errors.)

B. The preservation of the soul
2 Timothy 1:12 (KJV)
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

The doctrine of eternal security is fundamental and I’ll tell you why, it goes to the Person of Jesus Christ.

To believe that a person can be saved and then lose that salvation necessitates one of two heresies:

  1. That salvation involves some human effort.
    We call that works and the Bible says, Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Not of works, lest any man should boast.

If a man is not responsible in his own salvation, he could not possibly be responsible for losing his salvation.
If he is not responsible for his salvation, he cannot be capable of losing it.

  1. That Jesus is not able
    Hebrews 7:25 (KJV)
    Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

If our salvation is accomplished only by Jesus, then to lose our salvation would require that Jesus is not able to keep what He has promised.

More specific to my point,
C. The preservation of the sanctuary
Matthew 16:18 (KJV)
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Jesus said that the church He built would never be prevailed against, would never be defeated.

Some people would say that what He meant was the “theory” of the church. That in principle, in theory, in concept, there would always be a church, but in actual fact, the church has had to develop and transition through several “prevailings” over the last 2000 years.

• So the church became “Catholic” in order to withstand the persecution of the first few hundred years
• Then the church became “Protestant” in order to correct the eventual errors of Roman Catholicism and
• Then the church became a multitude of Protestant denominations in order to combat errors of mainline Protestantism.

My position is that the church Jesus built has always been:
• A local congregation
• Situated in city after city and
• Holding at least to these three key doctrines

In order to bear out my position I want to give you.
II. SOME HISTORY
In the 2000 years of church history, we find just three kinds of church movements:
A. The Local/Free or Independent Church
This is the only sort of church one can find in the Bible.

Seriously – there is no other kind of church found anywhere in the pages of the Bible.

So to come up with a universal church or an invisible universal church a Bible scholar has to do one of two things:

  1. Befuddle his student with Greek
    What they want to point out is that the word “church” is not a direct translation of the Greek, Ecclesia.

That it is a Scottish term “kirk” and a religious one at that.
The word ecclesia was not originally a religious term but a common one meaning an assembly.

Jesus gave us the Greek ecclesia, which means a called out assembly. That is what we local church Baptists have claimed a church is all along.

To toss in some vague twist that church doesn’t directly translate into assembly is to attempt to conflate the subject.

The word church is a good word, well understood to mean the called out assembly.

The more common misrepresentation is to

  1. Morph the teachings of the church with that of the body
    No doubt the Bible uses the concept of the body to teach about the church.

The trouble is, they use the illustration of the body to define the church.

They should let the biblical definition to the church inform their interpretation of those Scriptures that speak of the church as the body.

Local- Free or Independent Church.
Historically those churches holding to the doctrine of the local church were free and independent.

• They were local
• Self governing
• Having Christ alone as their head.

They were not always called Baptist.
At first they would just be
• The church in Corinth
• The church in Ephesus
• The church in Smyrna
Etc.

The second form of church begins to show by 90 AD
B. The Established/Catholic Church

Jesus addresses the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2 and says, Revelation 2:6 (KJV)
But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

It was a heresy that divided the clergy from the laity and seems to have incorporated a hierarchy of church leadership.

This system became swallowed up into the Catholic concept of the church Emperor Constantine organized in around 314 AD.

Constantine:
• Claimed to have become a Christian
• Organized all of the churches as one catholic church under his headship and
• Ordered everyone in his realm to become Christian and join that church

When that happened, those free and independent local churches, refused to join in.
They understood their head was Jesus Christ.

They were quickly branded sectarian and cultists by the Catholic church and were hunted down or persecution.

When they rejected the baptism of those churches that were catholic, the catholics called them, among other things, anabaptists; re-baptizers.

Since the catholic church was under the head of the state to reject their baptism was considered an act of treason against the state. It’s why they viewed Anabaptism as a crime punishable by death.

For 1200 years the catholics hunted down the Anabaptists.

Until the 1500’s and the rise of
C. The Protestant Church
The Protestant Reformation movement is usually given October 31, 1517 as its birthday.

That’s when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the chapel in Wittenberg, Germany.

There were other 200 years before him who began to see the error in the Roman Catholic Church, but Luther’s move happened at just the right time to create a perfect storm and catapult him into the forefront as an enemy of the Pope.

Luther was a Roman Catholic priest. He had no desire to leave the Catholic Church but when the Pope excommunicated him, Luther took up the gauntlet of Protestantism and created a movement that would eventually become separate lines of Protestant Church:
• Lutheranism
• Calvinism (Reformed) and
• Church of England

All three mainline Protestant churches were started by Catholics either kicked out of or rebelling against the Pope.

• Lutheranism is, for every practical purpose, a German brand of Catholicism
• The Church of England is essentially Catholic except that they submit to the Archbishop of Canterbury instead of the Pope
• Calvinism is the most far reaching of the Protestant groups. When we use the word “Reformation” what we really mean is Calvinism

When those in the Church of England became dissatisfied and protested against their own High Church, they almost completely embraced Calvinism.

And out of that rebellion against the church of England came:
• The Methodist Church
• The Congregational Church
• The Presbyterian Church

And from them have come
• The Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches
• The Nazarene Church
• The Bible Churches
And so forth.

There are even some forms of Baptists that came out of the rebellion against the Church of England.

There was already a group of Baptists in England who traced their history outside of Catholicism and back to Jesus Christ.

Some of the Protestants against the Church of England, accepting the practice of baptism by immersion, took to calling themselves Baptists because of that.

Some of them even sought out the old Anabaptists to immerse them in the first place.

Bottom line, we insist we are not Protestant because we insist our churches never were part of Roman Catholicism.

I only accept as a true Baptist church one that traces its roots outside of Protestantism and Catholicism. If a Baptist church claims the Baptists began in England around 1612, I dismiss them as not Baptist.

Let me try to quickly give
III. SOME APPLICATION
So what if the family of churches ours came from was once Catholic, Lutheran, Church of England or some other mainline Protestant.

Why does it matter?

A. So we avoid their teaching
We have got to guard ourselves so that we:
Do not join into their churches.
Beloved, there are lots of Independent Baptist Churches that are Protestant in history, practice and doctrine.

Do not read after their authors
Someone said ten years from now you will be:
• Who you associate with and
• Who you read
Friendship and influence is more powerful than we realize because it subtly changes us.

B. So we refuse their error
The first step of separation is to remove ourselves from those who will influence us in a wrong direction.

The second step is to identify the heretical teaching that exists even in sound places.

We have been so inundated with Reformation/Protestant teaching that we sometimes don’t realize that we think like a Protestant.

• Every one of us has to fight a Protestant interpretation of the church
• Every one of us has to fight a Protestant interpretation of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

One of the things I have been asked to do is to teach why we practice closed communion. Here is the thing, no one will understand closed communion until they accept the Biblical teaching of the local church.

Why does it matter that Baptists are not Protestants?
C. So we reject their future
The root doctrine of all Protestantism is the universal, one world church.

Biblical Prophecy makes it clear that as the day of the Lord draws nearer, all of those pieces of the universal, one world church will join together as one worldwide religious monster led by Anti-Christ.

Those of us who are saved will be rescued out of whatever church we are in before that time. But we do not want to contribute to others being drawn in, deceived and then destroyed by it, do we?

Baptists are not Protestants because we have never accepted the doctrine of a universal church.
We have insisted, for 2000 years, that the church Jesus built is a local, free and independent church having Christ alone as its head.

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Most often , I am seldom very comfortable disputing issues of this kind, principally because it avails little spiritual edification!

Why? Appellations and segregation into kinds and groups are human means to natural, not spiritual ends.

The term , 'Protestant', generally refers to the primary splinter groups from the considered first official Catholic Church due to fundamental doctrinial disagreement, like method of water baptism!It is in this light they are seen as Protestants as they protested what they consider not ideal.

Naturally, whatever is extremely homogeneous does not endure. It is therefore expected that the Church must be heterogeneous as different body parts, yet leveraging for a common goal of the one body.

I think the several Churches Jesus addressed in the book of Revelation is a pointer to this reality!!

Indeed , there are no protestant Churches, but for historical reference there are; the Baptist inclusive.

It's ridiculous to say that Baptists aren't Protestants. So what are they then, Catholics???

I take it you did not read the post. :-) It is irresponsible to make a remark so unintelligent as yours when all you would have had to do is read the message and point out what you believe to be the errors in it.
Praying that God removes your scales one day.