“But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.” – Ephesians 4:15
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Growing up in the Baptist denomination, I was taught many things that I later found out to not be true about God and the Bible. I don’t think anyone was intentionally feeding me falsehoods about Christ. But I do believe that they just didn’t know any better themselves regarding Bible truths. For instance, we used to have to vote people in to the congregation. No where in Scripture is that command or example found to do that.
So, for my Baptist friends, I want to lay out a few things for you that are taught in the Baptist denomination that are not exactly aligned with the Word of God. I hope that you will sincerely consider these traditions that are not actually Scriptural and make a change in your beliefs.
- Baptists, in general, believe that only true believers endure to the end – that if a person falls away from faith, they never were truly committed in the first place.
- Jesus assessed that some believe for a while, but then fall away into temptation (Luke 8:13). The Hebrews writer explains to us that it’s possible to fall away from the faith (Heb. 6:1-6). And Paul even recognized the danger of falling and being disqualified; that’s why he disciplined his body and brought it into subjection (1 Cor. 9:27). It’s possible to be a true believer and not endure to the end. Otherwise we wouldn’t need so many admonishments to be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10).
- Baptists, in general, believe that the church was established during the days of John the Baptist, while Jesus was on earth.
- While Jesus was on earth He proclaimed, “I will build My church” (Mt. 16:18). He had not built it yet. The church came into existence on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Jesus made it clear that His kingdom, the church, would come with power (Mk. 9:1; Acts 1:8). And it did (Acts 2:1-4). John the Baptist was already dead (Mt. 14:10-12), and Jesus had already ascended back to heaven (Acts 1:9).
- Baptists, in general, believe that faith alone saves a person.
- Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). A person is justified, or made right with God, by works, and not by faith only (James 2:24, 26). Jesus spoke about what a person needs to do to be saved: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mk 16:16). Belief is not enough – even demons believe and tremble before God (James 2:19).
- Baptists, in general, have candidates for baptism to confess that they believe God has forgiven them of their sins – before baptism.
- The confession that is the right one to be made is found where Peter told Jesus that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Mt. 16:16). The Ethiopian eunuch similarly confessed: “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:37). Jesus said that those who confess Him before men, He will confess before His Father (Mtt. 10:32). The confession that is to be made is not confession of sins or confession that one believes they are forgiven. We must confess Christ. Besides, baptism is for the forgiveness of sins; it’s false to confess before baptism that your sins have been forgiven when you must be baptized first.
- Lastly, Baptists believe that baptism is not essential for salvation.
- Baptism is essential for salvation. It must take place before one can be saved (Mk. 16:16). Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). Baptism saves us (1 Pet. 3:21). Baptism washes away our sins (Acts 22:16). As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, a person must be born of water and of spirit to enter the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:5). There’s no negotiating what Jesus has offered us as a means to get to heaven. If we want to be saved, we must be baptized.
Many people are members of denominations because that’s what their parents did, and their parents’ parents. Not many question why they practice what they do or what they believe. I hope that you will consider the traditions that you partake in and beliefs that you espouse, my Baptist friends, and set them aside to follow only the Word of God.
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