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.
Since there really aren’t any Scriptures that deal with this subject specifically, I’m going to share my opinions on it for the next few minutes.
Yesterday I posted a video about whether or not Christians should participate in Halloween.
My family never “celebrated” Halloween. We weren’t allowed to dress up as creepy goblins and witches. My brother and I weren’t allowed to go trick-or-treating with our friends. We never passed out candy either. When the kids started to walk around the neighborhood to collect their Halloween treasure, we shut all the drapes, closed the blinds, turned off all the lights in the house, and deactivated our motion-sensor porch light. In fact, I carved my first pumpkin when I was 23 (and it was the most awesome ninja turtle you’ve ever seen, I might add).
Back in November 2011 I posted “to tithe or not to tithe?” on the blog. It drummed up a pretty good discussion, and even caused a few people at the church I used to attend to get a little self-defensive over the issue.
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” – Malachi 3:8-10
I was reading a post over at Alise…Write! and found myself almost breaking out in hives over a couple of sentences in her post titled “It Is Good.” (okay, maybe not “breaking out in hives”… but somewhat irritated.)
Overall, her post was actually pretty good. My beef was with the following bolded sentences:
“…these projects point to God. Not to a neat, tidy, polite God, but to a wildly creative being. A God that refuses boxes and boundaries and rules. A God that understands hurt and pain and hope and love; a God that understands what it is to be human.”
The idea that “God…refuses boxes and boundaries and rules” makes it sound like He embraces chaos, disorganization, haphazard efforts. The idea that God is not necessarily a “neat, tidy, polite God” makes it sound like He Who spoke the worlds into existence is a caveman of sorts and not a gentleman.
It has been argued for centuries, this matter of Baptism. Somewhere over the years the Biblical truth surrounding Baptism has been mixed up with church tradition and the teachings of men. What we have today is a mixture of denominations that believe a mixture of things about baptism.
- Some denominations believe that baptism saves people.
- Some denominations believe that baptism is required to complete salvation.
- Some denominations believe it signifies identification with a certain “religious” group.
- Some denominations believe that baptism is simply an act of obedience and testimony after salvation.
So let’s take a look at what the Bible says…
Can someone who has accepted Christ as their personal Savior lose their salvation?
That question can easily be answered by asking another question…
Is God a liar?
If you answered yes to either of those questions then you have very little knowledge of the Scriptures.
The correct answer to both of the above questions is a resounding “no.”
“God is not a man, that he should lie…” – Numbers 23:19 (KJV)
In his most recent book, Given By Inspiration, Pastor Bill Grady says on page 47, “‘Pseudo King James Onlyites’ are some of the shallowest Bible students in the Body of Christ. They are always lacking in two areas – right division and cross-referencing.” This fact was on display mightily a couple of weeks ago during a discussion on Twitter. The discussion centered on “the angel of the church” in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 and who this angel may or may not be.
The most common teaching, which was espoused by a couple of people in this discussion, is that the angel spoken of is THE pastor of the church. The reasoning is: an angel is a messenger; a pastor delivers messages; therefore “the angel of the church” is the pastor. This does make logical sense, doesn’t it? But is it correct? No. First of all, not all angels are messengers (Matt. 4:11; Dan. 12:1 Rev. 14:17,19). But there are a few common sense problems with this “private interpretation”: first, most churches have more than one pastor, which one is being addressed? The scriptures speak of no such divisions such as senior pastor, youth pastor, associate pastor, etc.; you either have the qualifications of a bishop (this assumes you believe bishop/pastor are the same thing) or you don’t. Secondly, Psalm 8:5, Hebrews 2:7,9 tell us that Jesus was made “a little lower than the angels.” Logic tells me that if man is lower than the angels, but the angel of the church is the pastor, does that mean your pastor has some elevated status over you in the pew? Didn’t Jesus say he hates the deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitans? But of course, we don’t have any striving to be Baptist “popes”… do we?
I’ve been attending a Bible Conference this week in Toledo, OH (why yes, I do live in Detroit, MI) – and it’s been wonderful! One of my favorite preachers was there (Brian McBride); Mark Rogers and Vincent Massa were also preaching the meeting.
My car has never seen so much highway in one week before – some 700+ miles driving back and forth betwee Michigan and Ohio. Needless to say, it’s been a crazy week.
I haven’t had a lot of time to sit in front of a computer screen and write anything original due to said busy week, but I did find a couple interesting things saved on my computer and from scouting the internet this week. So I’ll share those with you. *and the crowd goes wild*
I was perusing around on a Jehovah’s Witness website and come across some interesting questions. I may feature more of the questions they have listed on their site for future QOTD posts as well.
If you’ve gone to church for any amount of time, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard about and even been taught about the Trinity.
In the wake of the catastrophe in Japan, I saw many people on twitter, facebook, and even in person claim: “Jesus is coming very soon.” Or: “the world is coming to an end”
I understand these claims to a degree. The bible does state that in the “end days” there would be Wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines, etc. So of course whenever there’s an earthquake or a war breaks out, its automatically the end times.
Do we live in the end of days? Maybe. But how long is the “End of Days”? Are these literally “days” or “months” or “years”?