Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mega Churches: Baptists in disguise!

I recently did a google search on "largest churches in the Southern Baptist Convention".

I was shocked to see that of the 10 largest SBC churches, 6 of them do not use the word "Baptist" in their names!

Another interesting finding in my search, was that if you click on the "What we believe" section of each of the individual church's websites, some of them do not even mention the "ordinances" of Baptism and the Lord's Supper!

John Smyth, Thomas Helwys, and Roger Williams must be rolling over in their graves!

Now, I have no problem with Christian churches dropping their denominational affiliations.  It is a shame to every Christian on planet earth that the Christian Church is so divided.  But until the day when all Christians come to agreement on the true doctrines of this re-united Church,  I do think that this trend to drop your denominational affiliation makes it more confusing for Christians to know which churches agree with true Christian doctrine and which ones do not.  Denominational affiliation at least gives you some direction.

Ask some of the members of these Mega Churches, who have dropped the Baptist label,  if they are Baptists, and you will probably be told "No, we are Christians".

The next question to ask them is:  "So from where do you obtain your church's doctrine?"

The answer will probably be:  "From the Bible, of course."

But, as my previous posts have documented, these non-denominational Christians do not believe all  of the Bible literally.  "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Jesus Christ) in Mark 16:16, would never be accepted literally in these churches.

So, the next question, after pointing out this problem, is:  "So, who originally decided that Mark 16:16 and other verses like it on the doctrine of Baptism do not need to be read literally?

They won't have an answer, except maybe this, "Well, you just have to take all the verses of the Bilbe on a particular topic and compare them as a whole and ask the Holy Spirit to help you interpret them so that they are all in agreement."

"Ok, I understand that, but there are just as many verses that infer that salvation can happen at baptism as there are that salvation happens when you believe.  So who decided, with the Holy Spirit's help, of course, to only believe the second group of verses literally and force the first group of verses to fit with the second?"

They won't have an answer except for this:  "The Holy Spirit guides each Christian to properly interpret the Bible.  We don't need an outside authority to tell us what to believe."

And that's the real bottom line:  Baptists and their non-denominational off-shoots rely on the Holy Spirit directing each individual Christian to properly interpret Scripture.  So if it is the Holy Spirit who interprets the Bible for Baptists, then why have Baptists splintered over doctrine and church practices hundreds, if not thousands, of times since their beginnings in the early 1600's?

Either Baptists have the wrong idea on how to interpret Scripture, or the Holy Spirit needs to get his act together!

The early Church Fathers interpreted Scripture for us!  They preserved the oral traditions, the oral Gospel, that Paul, Peter, and the other Apostles taught them.  If you want to know how to interpret Scripture look to them, not to some "inner voice" inside you that you call the Holy Spirit but that very well could be your own ego, or worse yet, an evil spirit or Satan himself!

Martin Luther and the Lutheran Church hold true to the doctrines of the Church Fathers.  You can go to the Lutheran Confessions for proof.  This is why Lutherans are not divided into hundreds of splinter groups.  Our doctrine is the same as the early Christian Church.

These Mega Churches may take the word "Baptist" out of their churchs' names, but their doctrine is still Baptist, and Baptist doctrine has no authority to back it up, other than each individual's "inner guidance" by the Holy Spirit.

Sounds like pretty shaky ground, if you ask me.

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