Saturday, August 21, 2010
Thirteen Reasons Why I Love Baptist Churches
The scripture tells us that Paul and Barnabas were “brought on their way” by the church. This clearly has reference to their physical needs and helping them in their journey. In my own life I can honestly say that the church of Jesus Christ has been the instrument of God to “bring me on my way”.
When I speak of the church I am not speaking of some universal (visible or invisible) entity that has never assembled violating the very essence of a church. A concept that was born in the mind of Augustine the father of corrupt theology and whose talons seized the Protestant churches in their infancy and whose influence has corrupted the ecclesiology of many Baptists.
I am speaking of the church as an institution whose only existence is to be found in the local, visible assemblies of baptized believers who are covenanted together to carry on the work of Jesus Christ. I make no pretense about loving Baptist churches. While I would readily admit that some have given way to apostasy and others seem to be in the initial stages of deterioration I love Baptist churches and consider them to be the only churches holding to the faith once delivered to the saints and having the authority of heaven.
My earliest spiritual memories are connected to a Baptist church.
I have sat under the ministry of six Baptist pastors.
I have heard hundreds of Baptist preachers.
I have been in dozens of Baptist churches.
I have had the opportunity to preach in dozens of Baptist churches in four countries and seven states.
I was saved in a Baptist church.
I was baptized in a Baptist church by a Baptist preacher.
I surrendered to preach in a Baptist church.
I have attended Sunday school in Baptist churches.
I have taught Sunday school in Baptist churches.
I have worked with young people in a Baptist church.
I have led singing in Baptist churches.
I was trained for the Baptist ministry in the context of a Baptist church by a Baptist Pastor.
I have had the opportunity to lead others to repent and believe the gospel in the context of a Baptist church.
I have had the opportunity to disciple others in the context of a Baptist church.
I have had the glorious privilege of pastoring Baptist people in a Baptist church for the last 20 years.
When all is said and done I will have lived and died a Baptist.
I will enter heaven as a born-again Baptist.
My whole life, as long as I can remember, has been wrapped up in Baptist churches. I want to share with you thirteen reasons why I love Baptist churches.
1. Matthew 16:18 – I love Baptist churches because they are the kind that was established by Jesus.
2. Matthew 28:16-20 – I love Baptist churches because they brought the gospel to me.
3. Acts 8:1 – I love the Baptist churches because they have been persecuted throughout history.
4. Acts 12:5 – I love Baptist churches because they provide a community of support.
5. Acts 20:28 – I love Baptist churches because they are the authorized place for the feeding of God’s people.
6. Acts 20:28 – I love Baptist churches because they are the kind that were purchased by the blood of Christ.
7. Eph. 1:22 – I love Baptist churches because the head over all things is head of those churches.
8. Eph. 3:21 – I love Baptist churches because God gets glory through those churches.
9. Eph. 5:25 – I love Baptist churches because Christ loves Baptist churches.
10. Eph. 5:27 – I love Baptist churches because Christ sanctifies Baptist churches.
11. Eph. 5:29 – I love Baptist churches because Christ nourishes and cherishes Baptist churches.
12. Col. 1:24 – I love Baptist churches because those churches are the bodies of Christ.
13. 1 Timothy 3:15 – I love Baptist churches because those churches are the pillar and ground of the truth.
A couple of years ago I went on a field trip with a retired teacher who was continuing to drive a bus. As we talked he leaned that I was a Baptist pastor and I learned that he was a Methodist. He told me that he understood that a Methodist was a Baptist that could read. I told him that I had heard that a Baptist was a Methodist who had had his eyes opened. He said he would tell me the difference between the Baptist and the Methodist if I would not get offended. A Baptist preaches like he's preaching to 3 saints and 300 sinners while a Methodist preaches like he is preaching to 300 saints and 3 sinners. He said he did not like his preacher to yell. I told him that the Methodist had some pretty fiery preaches in their history.
As I have thought about that I determined if I was a Methodist I would not have anything to get excited about either. So Baptist have a reputation of preaching hell hot, Christ glorious, man completely sinful, heaven well, heavenly, and the cross man’s only hope; and they tend to get a bit passionate about it. I happen to love them for it and may I ever be numbered in their midst.