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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Just Mike

What is a BAPTIST?

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I am posting this in response to Williams request of me.

 

The word Baptist brings up many different ideas of what people think it really means. Let me use a different example. When I say the word "cookie" many different kinds come to your mind. I love Christmas sugar cookies, there are so many different cookies I could never mention them all. That really is how Baptist truly are.

 

I am a Southern Baptist. There is an old saying that Southern Baptists Churches "are connected by a rope of sand" To be a Southern Baptist a church must agree to the BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE. This is a statement of basic Bible beliefs that Baptist churches agree to. This does allow for many different ways a Baptist church does things and holds to different Doctrines.

 

For instance of some different Southern Baptist churches beliefs are; Some churches have closed communion, some open. Some churches only allow baptized believers to partake of communion where some do not require of that. Some have have Communion ever month, some quarterly, its all up to the church as to how often Communion happens. Some SBC churches require a mew member be Baptized in a SBC church or require them to be re-baptized. Some do not care as long as their baptism is when they made Jesus Christ their LORD. Some SBC churches require a series of clases before joining others do not.

 

In addition some SBC churches do not belong to the local or state conventions, but belong to the national SBC. A church has to belong to one of the three to be a SBC church. The church I am amember belongs to all three.

 

A good number of SBC churches are hyper-Calvinistic, some moderately, some not at all. Some SBC churches are ecumenical, an some are totally not. Many SBC churches would say they are reformed and agree with the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, which is where I personally believe. Some SBC churches only hold to the Baptist Faith and Message.

 

As far as other Baptist churches they vary as much as cookies do, The last I read there are over 85 different kinds of Baptist churches. Just to name a very few, GARB, Nondenominational, Regular, American, Conservative, Free Will, German, and the list goes on and on.

 

So when you see a church is a Baptist church it really tells you little except they are Protestant churches, and you need to see their Statement of Faith to know what kind of baptist church they are.

 

William I hope this helps, and for others as well. My sincere desire is to be respectful when differences come up. I hope my posts reflect a desire to dialogue, but not change you to my belief, but to more fully understand yours. I will always stand with Scripture when confronted with unbiblical posts with respect but firmness. I stand to be corrected when wrong and will apologize ifIi have offended someone. My main foucus is Jesus Christ and the Truth of the Gospels and all Scripture. Like Martin Luther I say "Here I Stand" by the Grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Here

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Unfortunately there are 28 different varieties just in North America. Most hold the same basic tenets freedom of conscience,the separation of the church from the state,believers baptism by immersion.If you tend to be "baptistic" in your beliefs if you can find a Reformed Baptist congregation in your area or at least one that holds to the doctrines of grace that may be the way to go for you.

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When there are no such Reformed Churches in an area of 60 mile then in order to belong to a local Body of believers that best inline with the Bible a person must depend on the Lords Direction.

 

As we both said the word Baptist has many meanings, and may not even be Bible based.

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Most hold the same basic tenets freedom of conscience,the separation of the church from the state,believers baptism by immersion.

There you go, that's (in my mind anyway) probably the key thing, credobaptisim. The other thing that seems common to me (correct me if I'm wrong, please) is that the individual churches have a high degree of independence from outside structure or influence. Personally, I am committed to to the idea of credo (believer's) baptism, but less sure about the best polity or governing structure, other than that a plurality of elders seems (to me) to be a great advantage.

Edited by Eric T.
Typos.
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the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, which is where I personally believe.

I like that too. Have you seen this helpful site, justme?

 

By the way, I haven't heard how your surgery went. Please give me an update or point me to where you updated us.

 

Merry Christmas!

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Yes good point brother they hold to a congregational form of church government. In fact in England many of the Particular Baptist Churches came out of the Puritan Congregational churches.

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I like that too. Have you seen this helpful site, justme?

 

By the way, I haven't heard how your surgery went. Please give me an update or point me to where you updated us.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Look under Prayer requests for my update. However I have traveled about 1,200 miles in the last three weeks going back and forth to the VA for my Kidney stones. They are gone for right now, but there are more in the kidneys hoping they stay put for a good while.]]

 

Yes I have printed each and every word of the Confession. It takes a day to read it all. How did these men of 1689 ever do such wonderful work without a computer?

Edited by Just Mike
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