Friday, February 6, 2009

I Am What I Am And Here's Why part III

People usually don't have a problem with me being Baptist. It's when they hear I'm Independent Fundamental Baptist that they raise their eyebrow. "Oh, y'all don't believe in having fun, do you?" Yeah, I've heard that before. lol Anyway, I know that when most people read this they will take it personally and may be offended. Just remember...Psalm 119:165 "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I could really care less what kind of Baptist you are. Or even if you are something other than Baptist. Salvation is not based on what denomination you are, but whether or not you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Saviour. If you have accepted Christ and been saved through His precious blood you're on your way to Heaven. If you have never done this, you're on your way to Hell. And this is the only thing about "you" that concerns me in reference to spiritual eternity! Don't let another moment pass without Jesus.

There are a lot of Baptist churches out there. Southern Baptist, Free Will Baptist, Primitive Baptist, Missionary Baptist, Independent Fundamental, etc, etc... Dr. Curtis Hutson once preached a message titled Things That Are Different Are Not The Same. This is true with Baptist churches.

Some Baptist churches added the words Independent and Fundamental to their name because a lot of Baptist churches today are not following God's Word. Therefore, the names, Independent Fundamental were given to set them apart from these churches. The IFB are holding on, or at least trying to hold on, to what historical Baptist churches were founded on. Some Baptist churches today are compromising the Word of God and some are even teaching false doctrine. The names Independent and Fundamental were added to Baptist so that it was known they were set apart from unsound groups.

We are Independent because we are not members of conventions, councils or hierarchy outside our local congregation. Each church governs itself. Independent Baptist churches pattern themselves after the NT example and stay under Scriptural authority.

We have two authorities in our church. Christ, who is the head of the church. And our Pastor (chief shepherd as mentioned in I Peter 5:4). Pastor Goodman is my Pastor and the overseer of our church congregation. (Heb 13:17, Acts 20:28, Eph 4:11) He does not answer to anyone for the direction he leads our church except our congregation and GOD. Each member of an Independent Baptist church has the right to vote on all matters that concern the church. We do not have committees!!

IFB churches fellowship with each other. We don't bring other preachers and evangelists in to stand behind our pulpits and teach their false doctrines. We do, however, have some WONDERFUL preachers that share each other's pulpits, evangelizing and sharing the gospel. But we don't bring in men from other denominations who are going to teach something opposite of what we believe. Even if it's on "just that one issue." We do not hold meetings with Protestants, Catholics, or church groups that are not sound in their doctrine. We practice Biblical separation as taught in "Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."

The word Fundamental means we use the NT guidelines of the church as our authority in doctrine and practice. We should not be confused with churches and tv preachers that claim to be fundamentalist who do not hold to the NT teachings of doctrine and practice. Fundamental Baptists use the name in its strictest sense as meaning to hold soundly the fundamentals of the New Testament teachings without error.

OK, so that's why I am what I am. I am not challenging anyone to discuss or argue this particular post. However, if you disagree and would like to politely offer your comment, please feel free to do so and remember that scripture speaks louder to me than your opinion. As my Pastor often says, I would much rather hear one "..saith the Lord" than a thousand "In my opinions."