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Thread: On the various Baptist congregations

  1. #41
    Boolit Master
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    I just did a quick look for "Baptists" in Wikipedia and find they say the number is 31 subdivisions. That's a more reasonable number but I still doubt it's really that high; I'd guess maybe 20 is more or less correct. ???

    Secular people striving to make Christians look stupid massively exaggerate our divisions by adding everything they can find with that name. Including independent churches which are not by any reasonable judgement a "denomination" and then print their total as an authoritative number. That's how lying sneaks come up with vastly exaggerated Baptist - and all others as well - numbers.

    Lloyd Smale said he'd once read that there are some 200,000+ "Protestant" denominations, worldwide. That was some really bad data because the researchers he quoted had determined that all stand alone independent local churches around the world, even home churches, were "denominations" AND if they were not some form of Catholic they were, by that fact, Protestant denominations. That kind of nonsense is worse than a simple error, it's twice over done intellectual fraud!

    Truth is, putting a denomination's name on a door does not make it anything. I mean, putting a Chevy Bel-Air name plate and Corvette brake lights on a 4WD Ford Bronco does not make it a Chevy sedan! If a religious people are not operating according to the core doctrines of the named group then they ain't what they claim to be and they lie by claiming to be what they ain't and liars don't make good congregations! (Groups such as "Christian Science", which is neither Christian or science comes to mind.)

  2. #42
    Boolit Buddy kaiser's Avatar
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    As a college youngster, I sold Bibles for a publishing company for a summer in a foreign (to me) land. Being a person considered some to be a Protestant, I encountered churches I had never heard of in my limited local travels. I was taught to appeal to the different groups by the company by "cherry picking" certain verses that were emphasized as "doctrinal truths". I was quite successful in my approach to avoid getting into lengthy discussions other's theological opinions, but found the most hypocritical patrons to be the most self righteous members of any church body who refused to recognize other Christians who were practicing their faith.

    Members who professed Christ, but were dishonest with their dealing with others; justifying their actions as separation of "money and church", rather than "church and state". Or failing to recognize the "plight" of a fellow Christian in time of need or crisis because of affiliation. One of the worst in recent times have been "professed" Christians who support abortion, government sanction persecutions of Christian churches (China, Nigeria, Turkey, etc.), and Christian censorship because of church affiliation.

    I too have heard the charge of "thousands" of Protestant churches, while claiming there is on "universal church" under the banner of the Catholic (Roman) church, of which I believe not to be accurate. While the Catholic church does not go off and rename every church building something different, while the organization does designate the Pope as "the head Bishop" (or "Elder"), I have personal knowledge of many Catholic churches of the "Eastern" persuasion that do not recognize the Pope as the "Vicar of Christ" on earth. And a few Roman churches whose practices mirror a different foreign culture. Matter of fact, in 1089 AD what is referred to as the "Great Schism" was a far greater split than any Martin Luther committed (IMO) where Catholics of the East (Constantinople) branded the Pope as the "anti Christ" because he declared himself dominion over all that called themselves Catholic; thus the Eastern Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, etc. split and have different beliefs and practices than is practiced by the Roman church. The Anglican church (Church of England) was another domination that broke away from the Roman church due to Henry VIII's feud with the church. The so called "Protestants" were so named (initially anyway) because they protested the Roman church of Byzantine empire and Church of England that in each case had complete rule over the citizenry (a complete theocracy).

    Now before I get a bunch of hate mail from my Catholic "Christian" friends, I too was raised in a Christian home that established my opinions and bias in the direction of Protestant practices. While I do not agree with "Apostolic Succession" from Peter, and many Catholic practices, I truly admire practicing Catholics who keep every edict and scriptural teachings of the "Holy Bible". Even if I was never taught or believed edicts were equal to scripture, their adherence and disciple is admirable. Likewise, I also have met and associated with other Christians who actively practice their faith who believe in concepts somewhat foreign to my "leanings"; however, I would not judge them on their sincerity or freedom to do so. We probably have as many bad characters in church as out of church, the big difference is that those in church recognize a power higher than themselves that need saving beyond this world and seek God through Christ. Those outside the church love to compare themselves to those who are attending services, rather than to Jesus who is the example we are suppose to follow if we profess to be Christians. The fact Jesus is the only living human that was perfect is a "humbling" role model to follow. Accepting his "grace" by his sacrifice on the "cross" can even be harder, since we cannot repay God by anything we can do on this earth during our life time. Thus, living by faith in him trumps church affiliation, traditional practices, and opinions of what constitutes "correct" Biblical interpretation. The forces against Christians are united; Christians all over the world are not. We better start recognizing who the enemy really is and get with the "program". My .05

  3. #43
    Banned
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    Oct 2020
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    64
    i quit the baptist church many years ago when i went to a wed. evening prayer group and their was no prayer. all they did was argue about harvesting a crop on sunday or not harvesting on sunday. they really went at it. i found it a do/s and dont/s church and every one was watching every one else. i enjoy a daily glass of table wine and they really did not like that. they told me i had to stop that. their has to be good baptist churches but i gave up on them from that one experience.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master
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    The CHURCH is the "called out people" of God and that's all believers. The CHURCH is not the building, that's just congregational (i.e., church) meeting house.

    The called out people of God are people, we are flawed. We come in all sizes and colors; we vary in intellectual and emotional maturity and how we deal with our religious faith AND other people. Like individuals, no church (people) is or can be perfect so some groups (churches) lean and focus one way, others lean/focus another. Perhaps our most important goal in church is to love God and love our brothers and sisters, warts and all, in faith. Or find another church family group where we may fit in better.

    As soon as I get perfect I may become more demanding of others. But, until I do, I'm hoping my church family/congregation will continue to be patient and love me in spite of my failings. Families do that, you know?

  5. #45
    Boolit Master
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    Dec 2013
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    South Texas Coastal Bend Area
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    The two main factions of Baptists here are the SBC and the BGCT. There is a sprinkling of Independent Baptist Churches which may or may not belong to one convention or the other, or neither. My 'church home' was pastored by a Th.D. with an extensive education in Greek, Latin and Aramaic. We did lots of 'rabbit chasing' in study groups. While I was there we left the Southern Baptist Convention and joined the Baptist General Convention of TX, due to certain actions of the SBC. As Baptist congregations go, ours was pretty liberal (ordaining women, etc). That pastor has retired and the church is going to close, as he was the driving force for the life of the church. I had not attended there for some time due to moving to a location about sixty miles away. I have been visiting other BCs and a few non-denominationals but have not yet 'moved my letter'. The one question I ask a pastor or deacon (they descend on visitors like used car salesmen) is: 'Southern or General?' and if they start stuttering, I leave.
    My older sister and I grew up 'unchurched' due to my Catholic Dad and my Unwashed Heathen Mom getting married outside 'The Church' back in forty-something. We were exposed to most of the denominations, by visiting with friends and family and going to services with them, and by getting farmed out to one brand of VBS or another. The 'marryins & buryins' on my Dad's side were Catholic, so we learned a little Latin and when to sit down, kneel, and stand, and to go up with arms crossed for a blessing at Communion time. My best childhood friend accidentally ate a can of Vienna sausages one Friday evening while visiting us and when he realized it the next day, kept looking over his shoulder for some Saint to materialize and smite him. Yes, he went to confession at the next opportunity. My Mom's siblings married into Judaism, Catholicism, Jehovah's Witnesses and IDK what else. My favorite aunt on my Dad's side married a Noo Yawk Jew, who was non-observant. My high-school girlfriends were Baptist, Methodist, Jewish and Unwashed Heathen. I married one of the Heathens who, once we started having kids, visited a nearby Baptist church and we both eventually joined there. That church fell apart due to a predatory pastor who would find a new church and bleed it dry, then move on. We visited around and found the Church Home I mentioned earlier. I was introduced to the Emmaus Community and began playing in, and later leading, the music teams for adult male, teen male, Catholic adult male and homeless male weekends. I was the Music Guy on the board of the teen organization and did some special music for some of the adult womens' weekends. I never did one of the prison weekends because I didn't want to run into anyone I'd put there. These weekends are highly ecumenical, even the Catholic one (I have gotten over my initial resentment at being excluded from Communion), and I have never had any conflicts with any mackerel snappers, tub thumpers, bible wavers or any others. If you want to hear denomination jokes, that's the place.
    My sister did the opposite of our Dad and went through Catechism to marry a Catholic. Then my eldest son married a Catholic girl whose Mom takes every opportunity to call any Protestant denomination 'Pretend Church'. I haven't the heart to discuss the selling of indulgences, etc with her because I love my daughter-in-law. They just started attending a Church of Christ denomination, go figure. My cousin married a Methodist, who used to tell me the joke about how deep do you have to get immersed, and they found when they moved out of state that their pastor was closer to Baptist than Methodist.
    When my Dad was hospitalized, terminal with cancer, in one branch of our local Catholic-run hospitals, one of the chaplains was a Kenyan priest with a jarringly absurd Irish accent (he learned English, sort of, from the Irish priests at seminary) who gave him a scapular during a visit, and subsequently became great friends with the chaplain and reconciled with his abandoned Catholicism, giving a confession before moving to a nursing home on hospice.
    So my experience vis-a-vis gettin' churched up has been fascinatingly varied.

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