Why I Left the Baptist Church…and Why You Should Leave, Too
“For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.” – 1 Corinthians 11:18
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I remember Sunday mornings, waking up at 5:00am to get ready for Sunday School and then worship service afterwards. It was very early for a young kid who wasn’t waking up just to watch Saturday-morning cartoons. I was raised in the Baptist church. My family was, too. As a matter of fact, most of my family still consider themselves Baptists or they are affiliated in some way or another. But I made a conscious choice to leave the Baptist denomination. And I’d like to share with you why. Hopefully, if you are a Baptist you will seriously consider leaving, too.
Don’t get me wrong: I learned a lot growing up as a Baptist and had some great values and principles instilled in me as a result of my upbringing. However, there are a few things that are concerning about the Baptist church, as they do not align with what the Bible teaches. Explore with me 3 Reasons Why I Left the Baptist Church, and Why You Should Leave, Too.
1. The Baptist church has erroneous teachings about salvation.
The Baptist denomination teaches that what a person needs to do in order to be saved and make it to heaven is believe in Jesus as Lord. They teach that baptism is not necessary for salvation – that it’s an outward sign of an inward change. However, Jesus taught that both belief and baptism are necessary for salvation. In Mark 16:16, Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” His statement is clear: Belief + Baptism = Salvation. Baptism is the way we get into Christ, where all spiritual blessings are (Ephesians 1:3). “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). We are buried with Christ through baptism into death, “that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). So, in order to be saved, you must be baptized. We cannot leave that requirement out of the equation.
2. The Baptist church does not have leadership as prescribed by the Bible.
Anybody who knows anything about a Baptist congregation, knows that there’s a pastor who leads the congregation. Just one man. No where in the Bible do we see a hierarchy of one man leading the church. A pastor is another name for elder, bishop, or overseer. In the Bible we see a plurality of leaders, meaning more than one pastor/elder/bishop. Notice 1 Peter 5:1-2: “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly.” We always see overseers/pastors/shepherds/bishops mentioned in groups. Christ is the head of the church and does not intend for one man to take the lead and make all the decisions that govern His people.
Notice also the qualifications for pastors in 1 Timothy 3. They are to be the husband of one wife, able to rule their households well, not greedy for money, temperate, hospitable, and gentle, among other things. There are some men serving as a pastor in the Baptist church who do not meet the requirement of being the husband of one wife, or having their children being submissive in all reverence, or not being greedy for money. The church that Jesus built is one that is to have multiple shepherds and pastors – not just one.
3. The Baptist church does not worship according to Scripture.
The worship of the church of the New Testament includes preaching, the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7), giving (1 Corinthians 16:2, 2 Corinthians 9:6), praying (Acts 2:42), and singing (Ephesians 5:18-19). The Lord’s Supper, or communion, is to be partaken of every first day of the week (see Acts 20:7), not quarterly or monthly as most Baptist congregations do. Also, our worship to God is to include singing, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). The melody is supposed to come from our hearts – not a mechanical instrument. The New Testament does not authorize the use of mechanical instruments in worship. The only instrument allowed is our voices, singing to God. However, the Baptist denomination incorporates pianos, organs, and some even have drums and guitars. They also include other acts that they deem as worship to God like miming, or praise dancing, which we do not see happening in the early church that we read about in the New Testament. If the Lord said to sing, and He did, then it’s our duty not to add anything to or take anything away from His Word.
So, these reasons, among others not mentioned, are Scriptural reasons why I left the Baptist church and why I hope that you will too. This list is in no way exhaustive, but I’d love to discuss more with you about it and why God doesn’t want us to be a part of the Baptist denomination. Feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts.
May God bless you, may He keep you, and may He cause His face to shine down upon you.
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