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What Is The Big Deal? What Makes Us Different? From Pastor Jim Alter’s book “Why Baptist”

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Presentation on theme: "What Is The Big Deal? What Makes Us Different? From Pastor Jim Alter’s book “Why Baptist”"— Presentation transcript:

1 What Is The Big Deal? What Makes Us Different? From Pastor Jim Alter’s book “Why Baptist”

2  True Biblical Doctrine is under attack Outright Apostates who despise the authority of God’s Word  This attack can produce good for us because it motivates us to study the Scriptures, sharpens our ability to express the clear meanings of Scripture and strengthens our faith in the Word of God. Ecumenism

3  Ecumenism  Encarta Dictionary – “a movement promoting the unity between different Christian churches and groups.”  This doesn’t seem to dangerous because of what Jesus Christ prayed in John 17

4  John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.  John 17:21-23 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.  Shouldn’t we strive for the oneness for which Christ prayed?

5  The Oneness that is demonstrated in the Godhead is what Jesus was praying about.  It is anchored to truth. John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.  It is not a fuzzy, feel good unity that is promoted by the religious world.  True UNITY is based upon the unchanging truths of God’s Word. The Father and the Son do not disagree about:  The Virgin Birth  Salvation by grace through faith  The duration of salvation  The nature of the church  The priesthood of the believer  Believer’s Baptism  Separation

6  A more complete definition of Ecumenism is: “a movement promoting unity between different Christian churches and groups by diminishing, changing, or ignoring the very Word’s of God.”  Ecumenism has a strong foothold in most churches.  Ecumenism is to be rejected.

7  Doctrinally sound people don’t wake up and say, “Today I am going to reject sound doctrine and accept false doctrine!”  Weak thinking is the result of a process or a mind-set that is illustrated in this well- known maxim:  “IN ESSENTIALS UNITY; IN NON-ESSENTIALS LIBERTY, IN ALL THINGS CHARITY.”

8  “IN ESSENTIALS UNITY; IN NON-ESSENTIALS LIBERTY, IN ALL THINGS CHARITY.” There is nothing in the Bible about non- essential doctrine. The Scriptures teach just the opposite.

9  1 Timothy 1:3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,  1 Timothy 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;  1 Timothy 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

10  1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.  1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.  1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

11  2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

12  Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.  Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:  Titus 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,  Titus 2:10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

13  Where in any of these verses are we commanded or permitted, to designate some doctrines as essential and others non-essential?  Doctrine Divides. This is what it is intended to do. Doctrine is not supposed to be watered down or changed or ignored. The question comes down to one of truth. Truth is knowable, and testable and is a gift from God Himself to His disciples in the form of Holy Scripture.  John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

14  I have, on several occasions, alluded to the fact that we have suffered loss, as Baptists, by following the examples of other denominations. It would almost seem to an observer that we were ashamed of our own peculiar sentiments, and took pleasure in testifying that between us and their sects there were no real points of difference. I think the points of difference are important, and that our whole history is, in the highest degree, honorable to us as a Christian sect. If any sect has occasion to glory, we more. If any man among us does not feel a manly pride in the sentiments which have distinguished us, and in the manner in which we have maintained them, there must exist something peculiar either in his head or his heart. - Francis Wayland 1857 President of Brown University (The first Baptist college in America) There exist profound differences between Baptist doctrine and that of the Protestants. How do we know we are right? We test truth in the light of the clear teaching of Scripture.

15  Context  We understand the unclear by studying the clear. John 3:16 is easy to understand when read in the light of the plethora of supporting texts.  We understand the Bible through the Scripture penned by the Apostle Paul. Romans 11:13 “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:” 2 Timothy 2:7 “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” Galatians 1:11-12 “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

16 Paul EmphasizedCatholicism Emphasizes  Mystery of the church  Forensic Justification – God the Father declares the believer legally righteous based upon the righteousness of God the Son, Jesus Christ.  The Resurrection  God’s accomplishment was the crucifixion  A mystical universal church- Protestant “churches” remained Catholic in this area.  Infused Justification – where the Catholic cooperates with God through receiving the sacraments and good works and progressively becomes more righteous until finally last rights are given at death.  The Death of Christ  The Crucifixion was a tragedy – which is the justification of anti-Semitism.

17  “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” – Martin Luther (no friend of the Baptists)

18  What is the clear teaching of Scripture on believer’s baptism? – Luther flinched  What about a regenerate church membership? – Luther flinched and remained Catholic  What about soul liberty? – Luther flinched and remained Catholic  What about the non-sacerdotal of the Lord’s Supper? – Luther flinched and remained Catholic Sacerdotal is a word that means: pertaining to priests or the priesthood. In relation to the Lord’s Supper, many Protestants, such as Martin Luther, believed that Christ is present in the bread and in the cup. He believed that in the ceremony of communion, grace was conveyed through the elements of the bread and wine. The difference between his position and that of Rome is this: Rome believes Christ is physically present in the elements, Luther believed Christ was spiritually present. Scripture, in contrast to both of these positions, teaches the non-sacerdotal view. The elements are simply bread and juice. They are object lessons to help us remember Christ’s broken body and shed blood.

19  Protestants believe that no church is free from doctrinal corruption and the church existed from Christ to A.D. 400 and until 1500 truth existed in a corrupted form.  We as Baptists believe that we have maintained a pure form of biblical doctrine for 2,000 years.  Jesus Christ promised the PERPETUITY of His church. In every age, at least one church (not denomination) would be continuing in the Apostle’s doctrine. Ephesians 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

20  To some this position is arrogant and mocked by even “Baptists” who are Protestant at heart such as Michael Haykin. The term ‘church’ in this verse was understood to be a reference to a local church of believers that was similar in kind to those found in modern Baptist groups. Since Christ had promised that such local churches would always be in existence throughout history, it would be questioning Jesus’ integrity to believe otherwise. It was therefore incumbent upon the Baptist historian to find them in the historical record… Now the major problem with the successionist view of Baptist origins is that it simply will not pass the scrutiny of historical examination. While the groups that are claimed by these historians to be genuine Baptists often have some similarities with later Baptists, other major differences invalidate the entire thesis. - 1996

21  When we speak of our distinctiveness, we do not mean to imply that we are the sole possessors of all truth, only that we hold to clear Biblical truth without the admixture of error from church tradition, church councils, papal bulls, or State decrees. It is evident that all disciples of Christ must hold essentially the same belief respecting the character of God, the obligations and character of man, and the way of salvation through the merits and atonement of the Redeemer. – Francis Wayland

22  We need to ask this question  If we are in agreement on these important points is there really much of a difference between evangelicalism and Bible- believing Baptist? But it is also evident that, holding these truths, men may adopt sentiments at practical variance with them. These sentiments, in the process of time, may encroach upon and undermine the truth, so that it becomes more inoperative, until, at last, a church once spiritual and heavenly minded becomes formal, ritual, and worldly. – Francis Wayland

23 Baptist Doctrine (1) Believer’s Baptism (2) Soul Liberty (3) Priesthood of the Believer (4) Autonomy of the Local Church (5) Immanent Return of Christ or the Rapture (6) The Bible is our Sole Authority (7) Separation of Church and State (8) Inerrancy (9) Virgin birth (10) Substitutional atonement, (11) Bodily resurrection (12) Authenticity of miracles or the Second coming of Christ Fundamentalist Doctrine (1) Inerrancy (2) Virgin Birth (3) Substitutional Atonement (4) Bodily Resurrection (5) Authenticity of miracles or the Second coming of Christ

24  Are you saying Augustine and Calvin, Whitfield and Wesley, Moody and Billy Sunday were wrong.  We answer with a whole-hearted YES. Francis Wayland was used to the accusation of being arrogant. …How can you ascribe this more perfect knowledge of the Word of God to yourselves? You have not numbered among you profound philosophers, learned philologists, acute logicians, or any of these gigantic intellects to whom we look up as the lights of the advancing ages. I answer; we have arrived at a clearer knowledge of the divine truth, for the very reason that we have no such guides to follow. Our fathers were, for the most part, plain, unlearned men. Having no where else to look, they looked up in humility to the Holy Spirit to teach them the meaning of the Word of God. They had no learned authorities to lead them astray. They mingled in no aristocratic circles, whose overwhelming public sentiment might crush the first buddings of earnest and honest inquiry. As little children they took up the Bible, supposing it to mean just what it said, and willing to practice whatever it taught. Thus they arrived at truth which escaped the notice of the learned and the intellectually mighty. – Francis Wayland

25  Most Baptist pastors know these principles  If the Sunday School teachers, Children’s church leaders and people in the pew can’t communicate these principles  We won’t have a Baptist church.  We will have a Protestant church with a Baptist Pastor. 1 Timothy 4:11 “ These things command and teach.” 2 Timothy 2:2 “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”  History shows us that when a local church members do not know these truths and are not able to teach these principles to their children, the distinctively Baptist character of that church will end within the next generation.


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