Why I’m A Baptist.
The following is the paper I wrote for the PH 305 Baptist Heritage class I just finished at the Antioch Bible Institute (ABI). I just finished my first semester (two classes) there and I believe I did quite well — thank God!
We just started the new semester this week and I am taking two classes again. Each class we are required to write a paper and turn it in with our course notebook on the last day of class. Here’s the paper I wrote for my Baptist Heritage course.
Why I’m A Baptist
Many people might say that I’m a Baptist by default. Being adopted into and raised in a Baptist home would definitely have an influence on which direction my faith would go. I was always taught about the fallacies of Catholicism, Lutheranism, Methodism, the Church of Christ, Hinduism, Mormonism – you name it and chances are I could tell you at least one reason why they were all false, or at least flawed, religions.
Many people might also say that a person with such early beginnings in the faith would find it more difficult to question their beliefs or wander from them altogether. That, in my opinion, is one of the most foolish assumptions a person could make. In fact, I believe that it is those who have been raised in Christian homes such as these that have the most inclination to one day question their faith or wander from it – I was one of these people.
I started questioning my faith when I was around 16 or 17 years old, after having already made two professions of faith years before. I graduated high school and gave up my college scholarships to go to Bible College, where I began to question even more of the aspects of my faith. Many of the friends I made at college tended to lean one of two ways in their faith – reformed Baptist or Protestant. Instead of strengthening my faith, it grew weaker.
I believe one of the main reasons why I began to question my faith was because of the heretical and hypocritical lives I watched other Baptists live. Watching other so-called Bible-believing Baptists live as though they were Hell-bound and hopeless made me question a lot of what my Sunday school teachers had tried to teach me.
I was more of the “monkey see, monkey do” type rather than the type of person who would follow the “do as I say, not as a do” rule. I realized that leaning on any human being to accurately and consistently lead me in my Christian life is not the way I should live. Hence, I began to study out what Baptists believe for myself so that I could rely on facts, Biblical truth, and God’s Word for my faith. The last thing I wanted my answer to be when someone would ask me why I believe what I believe was “…because _____________ told me so.”
When I decided to take the Baptist Heritage Course through ABI I was excited because I knew that the information learned in this class – not because some teacher said so, but because God’s Word said so – would help reiterate everything else that I had previously studied out about my faith… and more!
The first reason that I am a Baptist is because of the doctrine I believe. The doctrine I believe goes matches what a true Baptist believes. That doctrine comes straight from the Word of God. I believe that the Church is the Bride of Christ – bought with the precious Blood He shed on Calvary over 2000 years ago. I believe that the Church is an assembly of baptized believers organized to carry out the Great Commission.
Another reason that I am a Baptist is because I believe the King James Bible is the Christians sole Authority for all matters of faith and practice. If it’s in the Bible, we ought to do it. If they Bible is against it, we ought to be against it too. God speaks to the saved individual through His Word – we ought to be listening.
Another reason that I am a Baptist is because I believe in the Priesthood of the Believer. I do not believe that I need to go through a priest or pray to Mary in order to get in touch with God. The Bible says that God is an ever present help – that means He is always there and I can call on Him whenever and wherever I wish to talk with Him. Jesus Christ is the Mediator – I have no need for anyone else.
I am a Baptist because I believe there is Individual Soul Liberty for each and every person. No one can pray me into Heaven or pay money to buy my salvation for me. I am responsible to accept the gift of salvation on my own. If I do not make the choice to accept Christ as my Savior for myself, then I will spend eternity separated from Christ forever. Salvation cannot be forced on anyone – it is a gift that each individual must choose to accept for their selves.
I am a Baptist because I believe it is Biblical for the New Testament Church to practice Baptism of new converts to identify them with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and also to observe the Lord’s Supper as a reminder for the sacrifice Christ made for us. I believe that Baptism should take place after someone has accepted Christ as their Savior and not before; and I believe that Salvation does not add to or take away from anyone’s salvation, but rather it’s an answer of a good conscience towards God and a testimony to others that you are identifying yourself with Christ.
I am a Baptist because I believe that as a Christian I ought to be separated from the world and its way of living. I cannot live a certain way simply because I want to or because it feels good. I believe it is my duty and my opportunity to live a clean and separated life that other might see the change Christ has made in my life and choose to live it too. I believe that the government has no right to tell the Church what it can and cannot do, who it can or cannot influence, or what it can or cannot teach. If anything, the government needs to get back to the Christian values this country was founded on. We have come a long ways from what we once were – which explains the mess our country is in now.
Above and beyond all that I have said thus far, I am a Baptist because it is the “denomination” of the Bible. It is not a religion based on works, but a relationship based on love and faith. The Baptist doctrines are sprinkled all throughout the Bible and have been defended all throughout history with the lives of men and women.
I am not a Baptist to be cool, or to feed my pride, or to pretend I am better than those who do not believe like I do. I am a Baptist because it is Biblical to be so. I am a Baptist because Jesus Christ Himself identified with the Baptist faith. I am a Baptist because I do not have to depend on another human being to guide me and convince me what is truth and what is not – I have the Bible to do that for me. I am a Baptist because I have been convicted and convinced in my heart by the Holy Spirit that it is truth I should walk in. I am a Baptist because it is Biblical to be a Baptist.
If you’re a Baptist, why are you a Baptist?
Share your thoughts below in the comments section!
Posted on January 25, 2013, in Christian Life, Doctrines of the Faith, Personal and tagged ABI, Antioch Baptist Church, Antioch Bible Institute, Baptist, Baptist Heritage, Bible College, College, Doctrine, PH 305, School, Semester, Term Paper, Why I'm A Baptist. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.