Why We Are Not Reformed Baptists
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”
- Having some things in common with Reformed Baptists, especially the preaching of the sovereignty of God in salvation, we are sometimes confused with them by those lacking proper knowledge.
- Having recently been marked as heretics by some Reformed Baptists, let us identify our differences.
- We pursued a similar study back in 1986 identifying our differences from the Primitive Baptists.
- It is our holy and solemn duty to identify heresy and name names to protect the church of Jesus Christ and the people of God from false doctrine, teachers, and churches (Matt 16:12; Rom 16:17-18; Gal 1:6-9; II Thess 2:15; 3:6,14; I Tim 1:19-20; II Tim 2:16-18; Titus 1:9-14; 3:10-11; Jude 1:3).
- The New Testament’s warnings about heresy often do not intend idolatry, paganism, or devil worship – but rather a compromised gospel involving another Jesus, spirit, and gospel, for a mixture of truth and error is harder to detect and defend against, like a counterfeit bill similar to the original.
- Whether Reformed Baptists or any others approve of us or not does not matter to us (Acts 24:14).
- We are not passing judgment about any individual Reformed Baptist church, as they do vary from church to church and very widely across the spectrum of all Reformed Baptist churches.
- We are not passing judgment about any person’s eternal destiny, since they stand before God, and since we clearly recognize the amount of truth believed or practiced does not determine eternal life.
- Due to general ignorance of scriptural terms, our use of heresy or heretic does not imply the eternal destiny of any but rather identifies a doctrine or practice as being contrary to Bible Christianity.
- Reformed Baptist church members may often be godly and spiritually-minded Christians and very nice people, but we do not measure doctrinal or practical correctness by such measures.
- Harsh things we must say about Rome and/or her daughters are by Bible authority and necessity, but we may not be saying those same things about Reformed Baptists except by their chosen connection.
- When you marry, you take another’s name … and baggage, which RB’s did with the Reformers.
- This will be a very skeletal synopsis of the situation – much more could be said or studied by inquirers that desire to get into other differences or deeper aspects of the differences identified.
- Since we have carefully defined these conditions and terms of our brief study, hearers should not over-react to individual words or statements like the scorners God condemns in Isaiah 29:20-21.
- We want to be as dogmatic and critical as God expects, but no further. See this link and this link.
- We will be accused of nitpicking, but true knowledge requires strict definitions and Jehovah of the Bible is a God of details, as Cain, Moses, Nadab, Abihu, David, and Uzzah learned the hard way.
- Who are we to sit in judgment of so-called great men like Luther and Calvin? We are babes of Jesus Christ, who keep His commandments (Matt 11:25-27; Ps 119:98-100,128; Rev 12:17; I Tim 4:1-6).
- Who are we to sit in judgment on another brand of Baptists, with whom we could unite to oppose the unbelieving pagans and lies of this profane world? The world’s lunacy is no threat! See #4 above!
- We are the true worshippers of God that worship in Spirit and truth, which is all that matters before God and men (John 4:20-24; Acts 24:14).
- Jesus taught contrasting rules – do not criticize those doctrinally correct but not associated with us (Luke 9:49-50), but do criticize those following false doctrine regardless of how esteemed (11:23).
- While Baptist churches vote nowadays to remove the word Baptist and/or Church from their name to remove any hint of doctrinal standards, we will define doctrinal differences with a group of Baptists.
- Others may cry or accuse that all the doctrinal distinctions show the insanity of Christianity, but we know and understand the devil’s war to overthrow Bible Christianity, which we will defend.
- We must not be guilty of revisionism (altering history to serve our purposes), but we cannot accept the widespread ignorance among Baptists regarding the real character and nature of the Reformation.
- We must avoid all hypocrisy – sitting in doctrinal judgment of others while living carnally ourselves.
NAME OF REFORMED BAPTISTS
- Names of churches are extra-scriptural and lead to confusion, false associations, superstition, and tradition, which is why our church is named simply for its location like those in the N.T., though we are doctrinally and practically careful and definitive.
- Many simple Christians today would not know what is meant by the word Reformed.
- Does it describe alterations or changes to what Baptists once believed or practiced?
- Does it describe bad Baptists that were made good by reforming their manners?
- In soteriological terms (salvation), the term Reformed describes the Calvinistic scheme of T.U.L.I.P. and the covenantal, sacramental system of churches from the Reformation e.g. Dutch Reformed, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Anglican, etc.
- Freewill Baptists also attach an adjective for doctrinal definition to their name, which Reformed Baptists do not mind taking them to task for, given its doctrinal heresy.
- The date of the first “Reformed Baptist” church by name is hard to know, but it is likely not more than 75 years old. Any help on this point would be appreciated.
- In the simplest terms, Reformed Baptists are those holding believers baptism that want to be associated with the five points of Calvinism.
- Prior to Reformed Baptists and Baptist churches like them, many felt they had to choose between Baptists (for believers’ baptism) and Presbyterians (for preaching of election and predestination), which is a shame of fact and of church ignorance.
- Thankfully, a reaction against the Arminian excesses of the last 100 years has resulted in a resurgence of interest in the doctrines of grace, but many of those rejecting the intellectually-bankrupt doctrine and practice of Arminian churches have chosen instead the intellectually-proud name and doctrine of the Reformed.
- Reformed Baptists want to use their name for particular Baptists in England of the 17th century, since a history of only 75 years does not sound very scriptural; while some of the Particular Baptists did not mind association with the Reformers for political reasons, there would have been others vigilant for complete independence.
- There are many Reformed Baptist Associations.
- There are many sovereign grace or Calvinistic Baptist churches rejecting this name.
- They hold as tenaciously to unconditional election and particular redemption, but they reject the doctrines, practices, and stigma implied by the word Reformed.
- These churches are sometimes known as or named Sovereign Grace Baptists, though they employ a wide variety of adjectives from Landmark to Missionary: see link and link.
- These churches may also be within the SBC as part of the Founders’ Movement.
- There are the Primitive Baptists that are definitely Baptists and hyper-Calvinistic.
- There are the Strict and Particular and the Gospel Standard Baptists of England: see link.
- Reformed Baptists chose their church name for one or more of at least six reasons:
- To identify themselves with the Reformers of the 16th century Reformation, which they consider a great work of God, especially Martin Luther and John Calvin.
- To identify themselves with Reformed soteriology, namely that of T.U.L.I.P., otherwise known as the five points of Calvinism.
- To identify with the 1689 London Confession of Faith (the 1742 Philadelphia), which was in most part a copy of the Presbyterian Westminster (1646).
- To identify with the five solas (Latin for alone or only) associated with that movement.
- Sola scriptura (by scripture alone).
- Sola fide (by faith alone)
- Sola gratia (by grace alone)
- Solus Christus (through Christ alone)
- Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone)
- To identify their efforts to reform Baptist doctrine and practice from Arminianism, which we agree and understand to be a serious corruption of apostolic Christianity.
- For snob appeal (see dictionary) of superiority to Arminian and ordinary Baptists by association with a more doctrinal, formal, scholastic, and systematic system.
- We are Baptists and want no such name connection with the Reformation in any way.
- Reformed Baptists = Oxymoron. A rhetorical combination of contradictory terms.
- The majority of Reformed churches still maintaining their original and creedal convictions deny the combination of their historical adjective with Baptists!
- They maintain covenantal and/or sacramental salvation for their children, and in some cases consistently add the Lord’s Supper to their infants’ diets as well!
- Reformed Baptists = Deformed Reformed or Deformed Baptists = Reformed made to appear as non-Reformed, or Baptists made to appear as non-Baptists.
- Baptists were not part of the Reformation: they existed before it and outside it; they were despised, persecuted, and even killed by the Reformers. See links below.
- Baptists were not Protestants, in that existing outside Rome from the apostles they never protested against it, for they knew her abominations were by prophecy.
- Baptists have never and would never credit the RCC as ever being a true church, for they knew her to be the Great Whore and mother of harlot churches (Rev 17).
- Baptists have never and would never credit RCC baptisms or ordinations as valid, which means that Martin Luther and John Calvin were never baptized or ordained!
- The Reformation and the Reformers despised, ridiculed, and persecuted Baptists; for more on this point see here.
- The so-called great Reformers named above did not leave Rome in all respects, for she had brainwashed them, and they would not bow to Baptist simplicity.
- Luther and Calvin are not heroes for Baptist children, as they were heretics on numerous counts, were never baptized, and hated and persecuted Baptists.
- The Reformers were not fully sola scriptura, as they retained some magisterium arrogance of the RCC, in which they were trained – Luther feeling he could criticize the Bible any way he chose; today they use a variety of versions and translations and contribute in the various unbelieving fields of Biblical criticism.
- The Reformers did not well understand sola fide, as the Bible condemns such a notion (Jas 2:14-26), which caused Martin Luther to attack this inspired epistle.
- The Reformers did not well understand sola gratia, for they maintained sacraments brought over from Rome that defy grace according to the word of Paul (Rom 11:6).
- The Reformers did not well understand solus Christus, for they added to His finished work by their sacraments and committed fornication with earthly kings and nations. (For a contrast, see Samuel Richardson’s Justification By Christ Alone.)
- The Reformers may have sought soli Deo Gloria, but they relegated too much to themselves, their churches, their governments, the fathers, Calvin, Rome, etc.
- We reject two of the points of Reformed soteriology represented by T.U.L.I.P., which we have carefully defined (see also).
- We can only apply God’s irresistible grace to regeneration, not to conversion.
- We believe God preserves His elect – He does not cause them to persevere.
- We prefer the 1644/1646 and 1655 Baptist confessions against the 1689 for earlier dates, orthodoxy regarding Christ’s sonship, and less respect of the Presbyterians.
- We will oppose Arminianism by the scriptures of truth rather than by connection to Reformed Catholics, for God is proving their problems as promised (II Tim 3:8-9).
- What are the “great doctrines” of the Reformation, as many say? Did not John, Jesus, and Paul do a decent job in the New Testament with great doctrine? The Reformation promoted baby sprinkling for salvation, family (covenant) salvation, a confused Lord’s Supper, scholarship rather than humility, national churches rivaling the Catholics, persecution of Baptists, and worship of manmade tradition.
- Reformed Baptists = Oxymoron. A rhetorical combination of contradictory terms.
- Most Reformed Baptists reject the presumed intellectually-inferior King James, for they want association and respect from the classically-educated daughters of Rome.
- We differ from them, for we hold to the King James Version for Bible reasons, which are briefly presented here.
- Those touting sola scriptura need to say what they mean by “scripture,” whether anyone ever had it, presently has it, and whether it is trustworthy at the word level.
- The so-called originals were never in a book for anyone or any church to ever read.
- There are nearly as many differing Greek versions as there are English translations.
- Where is the final authority that has individual words that can be fully trusted, as Jesus and Paul argued doctrine at least fifteen times from individual words?
- Since they chose to be Reformed, which Bible available is the Reformation Bible? If it is not the King James, then it must be the Geneva, so then why use the ESV?
- These simple points expose the use of “scripture” as a phantom of the imagination.
- Those touting sola scriptura need to study Martin Luther’s translation, his prefaces to James and Jude, and his treatment of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation.
- Those touting sola scriptura need to consider where in the world they got infant sprinkling as a New Testament sacrament, Jesus descending into hell, etc., etc.!
- Honest Reformed writers admit the New Testament does not teach infant baptism, and both Luther and Calvin taught immersion as the scriptural and ancient mode.
- The apostles did not write the Catholic/Reformed creed bearing their name that appeared in the 4th century, nor did they teach Jesus descended into hell. See this summary statement held to dearly by many.
- The Reformers despised Baptists for being too ignorant to understand scripture, for most did not have their classical education and boldly rejected Reformed sophisms.
- The Reformers held various degrees of Rome’s magisterium, which is the presumed ability and right of final authority to interpret scripture of the episcopacy.
- It is Baptists only that have held to the complete and final sufficiency of scripture.
- Consider the Baptist’s 1689 opening sentence that the Westminster of 1646 does not have, “The Holy Scriptures are the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.” (Yet, we must also ask them for clarification of “scripture.”)
- If you are truly Baptists, then get a Bible that teaches Baptist baptism and condemns the Reformation in I Peter 3:21, as here.
- If you are Baptists, then get a Bible that answers the eunuch’s question in Acts 8:37.
- We are glad Reformed Baptists defend and promote the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, as far as they do in their positive declarations and opposition to JW’s and Unitarians.
- However, they deny His proper identity and full deity by accepting and exalting confessions that teach the Origenistic heresy of eternal generation and a begotten god.
- Origen, who chose this speculative language, fully believed Jesus was a lesser god.
- The Reformed teach Jesus Christ is the begotten Son of God – in His divine nature.
- We follow scripture that teaches Jesus is the Son of God – in His combined nature.
- The difference here is enormous – either a begotten god or a begotten Son. Amen!
- The deity of Jesus Christ is not begotten in any sense – He is Jehovah the Word!
- Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the Son of God, not some mysteriously generated deity!
- If you think this a minor distinction and Reformed Baptists do not care about it, then criticize the Nicene creedal doctrine of eternal generation to a Reformed person.
- See link here.
- Ask Michael Servetus as to whether the Reformed faith allows incarnate sonship!
- The Strict Baptists and Gospel Standard Baptists split in England over this in 1860.
- They cannot and will not give up their creeds coming from Nicea through Rome.
- We start with scripture and stay there (John 1:1,14,18; I John 5:7; Luke 1:30-35; Gal 4:4; Matt 16:16; Acts 8:37; I John 5:4-5; I Tim 3:16; Col 2:9; I Cor 15:27-28; Is 9:6).
- Some Reformed Baptists use the N.A.S.B., which has a begotten god in John 1:18.
- See much more about this heresy here.
- We are glad Reformed Baptists emphasize God’s sovereignty in salvation, teaching the first three points of T.U.L.I.P. Calvinism as we do, though we do it from the Bible.
- We reject doctrinal loyalty to John Calvin, the Synod of Dort, or the Reformed faith.
- We deny gospel means of regeneration as surely as baptismal regeneration, for the dead sinner does not cooperate in his regeneration (John 1:13; 3:8; Eph 2:1-3; Tit 3:5).
- Quickening, or regeneration, is by the power of the Holy Ghost initiated by the voice of the Son of God while man is dead and a rebel against God (John 5:25-29).
- Regeneration is God’s creative work like Christ’s resurrection (Eph 1:19-20; 2:10).
- The natural man cannot assist or respond (John 3:6; 8:47; Rom 8:7-8; I Cor 2:14).
- The gospel is the good news to the elect about salvation (II Tim 1:10; Tit 1:1-3).
- They are sacramentalists … preaching the gospel conveys grace from the preacher-priest to the hearer-communicant. Scratch a Calvinist and you’ll find an Arminian!
- Why cannot many of the so-called great men of Reformed soteriology distinguish between regeneration and conversion e.g. John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, etc.?
- Why can they not or will they not distinguish between preserve and persevere?
- For more about being born again.
- We deny faith as the condition, instrument, or means of legal justification before God.
- Faith is merely one of the first acts for our personal assurance and evidence only.
- God chose Abram’s faith in Gen 15:6 long after he was justified eternally in the counsel of God, for he was already walking with God (Gen 12:7; Heb 11:8-10).
- Paul used this example of faith in Romans and Galatians to fight Jewish legalists.
- Faith by itself proves nothing, since devils have plenty (Jas 2:14-26; I Thess 1:2-4).
- We hold to eternal justification and legal justification at the cross with Baptist fathers Richardson, Gill, Brine, and others, knowing faith is for our assurance only.
- The Reformed howl about justification by faith as the greatest doctrine in the Bible, when justification by works is greater (I Tim 6:17-19; Matt 25:31-46; etc.).
- Much more could be said, has been said at other times, and it deserves much study.
- We deny grace is irresistible in conversion of the elect, as the Bible in both testaments shows God’s elect barely converted or not converted or falling from conversion.
- We apply the irresistible nature of God’s grace to regeneration, not to conversion.
- The generation under Moses was unconverted elect (I Cor 10:1-5; He 3:6 – 4:11).
- The generation of Jews in Paul’s day was unconverted elect (Romans 11:25-28).
- False teachers can so corrupt the gospel as to overthrow the right knowledge of grace and faith (Gal 1:6-7; 3:1; 5:2-4; II Tim 2:16-18; I Cor 15:1-2,12-19).
- Slothful ministers, neglecting themselves or doctrine, can lose souls (I Tim 4:16).
- Calvinism vs. Arminianism.
- We deny the elect shall surely persevere and continue on in sanctification to greater and greater holiness, as scripture shows some cut off in their sins (I Cor 11:29-32).
- The Bible record shows God’s elect children foolishly squandering their grace, and sometimes they were judged for their sins e.g. Lot, Samson, etc.
- We believe the scriptural doctrine that God preserves His saints against any loss of souls (John 6:38-39; Rom 8:32-39; I Thess 5:23; II Tim 4:18; Jude 1:1).
- Calvinism vs. Arminianism (see also).
- To avoid confusion and greater length to this study, we will pass over finer distinctions of covenant theology and the relationship of Law and grace to Reformers.
- We are glad the Reformed Baptists want to be called Baptists, and we are glad that most of them require rebaptism of those coming from Rome or her daughter churches.
- We wish they grasped the significance of this simple fact – baptizing the Reformed!
- They reverence Reformed doctrine/history so much they include it in their name.
- Do they think they dilute the stigma of Reformed by two seconds in a baptistery?
- Do they grasp what they say by rebaptism? Luther and Calvin were never baptized!
- Do they grasp that their great heroes need a poor Baptist preacher and much water?
- Do they grasp that their great heroes could not learn this simplest of doctrines?
- Do they boldly point out corruption of scripture by these so-called pedobaptists?
- Do they strictly avoid the term pedobaptists for infant-sprinkling heretics, since infant sprinkling is not a baptism of any kind, no matter what Rome might call it; and since Baptist = dipper and baptism = dipped in their esteemed Greek language.
- Let them remember that Zwingli and others drowned Baptists for the truth of baptism.
- If you doubt this fact, read here.
- Instead of limiting persecution to Rome and its Coliseum, include the Reformers!
- The Reformers were never Baptists – they hallowed the baptismal heresy of Rome.
- Whether in print, prison, or death, the Reformers hated and persecuted the Baptists.
- Catholics and Reformers slurred Baptists as Anabaptists (re-baptizers); but Baptists did not consider themselves re-baptizers – infant sprinkling was no baptism at all!
- Let them cry out against the corruption in all other Bibles of Acts 8:37 and I Pet 3:21.
- Let them remember the Reformers violently kept and defended the baptismal heresies they brought from Rome, including baptismal regeneration by Luther and others.
- Presbyterians can deny their infant baptism saves, but here are the words of their fathers in the Westminster Confession: The efficacy of baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited and conferred by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto, according to the counsel of God’s own will, in his appointed time. [28:6]
- We are glad most Reformed Baptists believe in the independence and centrality of their local church and that it is to be composed of regenerate and baptized believers.
- All Reformed churches have an unregenerate membership by infant baptism, and some of them, like R.C. Sproul, Jr., go so far as to include infants in communion also!
- The RCC was never the church, but rather the great whore and mother of abominations and harlots, so why connect to any calling it the church (Rev 17:1-6).
- An association or denomination of local churches is not a church, so why call it so?
- Singular use of the word church for anything larger than the local church by a collective noun should be identified or understood carefully – it can lead to heresy.
- A beginning in the 17th century is 1600 years too late to be Jesus Christ’s church!
- Why teach yourself or your children that Baptists began in the early 17th century?
- Jesus said the gates of hell could not prevail against His church (Matt 16:18), so any church in Rome or coming out of Rome cannot be His church by any convolution.
- The Roman Catholic Church is not the church in any respect, except as great whore.
- When your pastor uses the term church fathers, as in ante-Nicene, Nicene, or post Nicene, what church and fathers does he mean?
- According to Daniel 7, who were the persecutor and the persecuted, if thou knowest?
- Which saints and churches were saved during the Dark Ages from the devil (Rev 12)?
- Baptists are not Protestants, for they were never in the RCC to protest against anything; they clearly understood she was God’s ordained satanic counterfeit to truth.
- The Reformed generally hated Baptists and persecuted them in Europe and America.
- Do not doubt Baptist history.
- We are glad Reformed Baptists identify with a reformation, though they have chosen the wrong one, for our beloved brother Paul taught us the reformation to appreciate.
- The Bible expressly describes a reformation from John through Paul, at which time the O.T. church worship was reformed to its final N.T. form (Heb 9:10; Luke 16:16).
- The Bible describes a mother church having daughter churches, which history shows took place in the 16th and 17th centuries, which we must reject as of the devil himself, and not of God (Rev 17:1-6).
- Reformed Baptists must decide which reformation they want to be part of.
SACRAMENTS OR ORDINANCES
- A sacrament is an outward sign conveying inward grace – faithful Baptists reject the word as describing Rome’s seven abominable ways to obtain God’s grace.
- Any Reformed Baptist using this word, and there are a few, is ignorant and heretical.
- Most Reformed Baptists practice believers’ baptism and close or closed communion.
- But where is the origin of two ordinances of the church? Why are there only two?
- Which two ordinances get segregated to a special place and why only those two?
- The New Testament is full of ordinances (I Cor 7:17; 9:14; Eph 2:10; Rom 13:1).
- Rome had seven sacraments, the Reformers kept two of them, Baptists follow suit.
- The so-called two ordinances come from a desire to copy the two sacraments of Presbyterians and other daughters of Rome, who herself has seven sacraments.
- Baptism is not even truly an ordinance of the church, as it is an individual and ministerial ordinance e.g. Philip baptizing the eunuch and Peter baptizing Cornelius.
REGULATIVE PRINCIPLE OF WORSHIP
- We are glad some Reformed Baptists understand and teach this important distinction, though few Reformed Baptists actually practice it in this age of compromise.
- The regulative principle states a positive command of God’s word excludes variations or additions to that command. We see this taught in Deut 5:32; 12:32; and Matt 28:20.
- The regulative principle condemns the argument from silence as invalid, which says that anything not expressly condemned is therefore allowed, which is sometimes called the normative principle, as here.
- The Reformers understood this principle to reject instrumental music in N.T. worship.
- Yet most or all Reformed and Reformed Baptist churches have musical instruments of various kinds, for they are as selective in their history as they are in using scripture.
- We are glad Reformed Baptists believe and practice a metaphorical, representative, or symbolic use of the elements of the Lord’s Supper.
- However, by association with the Reformation, where do they stand on Martin Luther’s synecdochical heresy of sacramental consubstantiation and the real presence?
- However, by association with the Reformation, where do they stand on the Westminster metonymical heresy of sacramental spiritual partaking of Christ?
- Presbyterians define the presence of Christ in the elements this way in their Westminster Confession: Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this sacrament, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually, receive and feed upon Christ crucified, and all benefits of his death: the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses. [29:7]
- The Bible demands wine, excluding grape juice (I Cor 11:21). What of your church?
- The Bible demands unleavened bread, not leavened crackers (I Cor 5:6-8; Luke 22:7).
- The Bible demands bread that is broken, not a manufactured, never-broken wafer.
- The Bible demands closed communion (I Cor 5:1-13).
- We are glad Reformed Baptists deny the office of priest in the New Testament church.
- However, by taking ruling elders from the Presbyterians they have added to the New Testament’s instruction for church officers.
- There are only two offices in the New Testament church – bishop (also known as pastor and teacher) and deacon (I Tim 3:1-13 cp Philippians 1:1).
- The qualifications indicate a man taking care of the church of God by ruling a family, which combines such ability to rule with the aptitude of teaching in the qualifications.
- New Testament bishops both rule and teach (I Tim 3:2,5 cp Heb 13:7 cp I Tim 5:17).
- New Testament bishops are supported by the church and avoid other employment (I Cor 9:6-14; I Tim 4:13-16; II Tim 2:4), which is seldom or never practiced by the so-called ruling elders of Presbyterian and Reformed Baptist churches.
- A New Testament church does not need a plurality of bishops any more than it needs a plurality of deacons (Titus 1:5; Acts 6:1-6; Phil 1:1; I Tim 3:1-7; Rev 2-3).
- Titus by himself could handle what was needed for the churches in Crete (Titus 1:5).
- We reject ministerial titles such as reverend or doctor or even pastor, bishop, or elder.
- Our Lord told even the apostles they were all brethren (Matt 23:4-12 cp II Pet 3:15).
- Reverence for men like Luther and Calvin frighten us (Job 32:21-22), for even the wise Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar did not know what they spoke of (Job 32:1-14).
- The only reverend we know is the Lord God Himself (Ps 111:9). It fits no man.
ROME’S HOLY DAYS
- We reject any participation in Rome’s holy days, either public or private, as profanely pagan and a prime example of spiritual adultery against the Lord Jesus Christ.
- These holidays include Christmas, Easter, Lent, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day.
- In most cases, your Reformed fathers rejected these holy days alongside the Baptists.
- The Bible position is very clear (De 12:1-4,29-32; Je 10:1-4; II Cor 6:14-17; Re 18:4).
- Anyone participating in this form of idolatry should be excluded from the churches.
- For much more information, see here.
- There were no formal associations of any kind of churches in the New Testament.
- Associations, no matter how informal or loose, create bondage for churches that reduce their liberty to follow scripture and conscience as the Holy Spirit leads them.
- Whether Luther’s Germany or Calvin’s Geneva or Zwingli’s Zurich and the Swiss civil war, the Reformers followed their RCC training to seek for state-church unity with infant baptism resulting in citizenship and/or church membership.
- Church of England? What in the world does that mean? Reformed history stinks!
- This is part and parcel of religious fornication with the kings of the earth (Rev 18:3).
- It was such state churches that persecuted Baptists, even in the United States.
- Maine’s congregational state church drove William Screven to Charleston, SC.
- Separation of church and state does not mean that the government cannot have any religion – it means the government will not impose any one religion on the nation and the head of state is not the head of the church. It is under such a system that Baptists can flourish, even while allowing Catholics, Mormons, and Muslims the same right.
- It should be known that Baptists were instrumental in the continental Congress adopting the Bill of Rights to avoid any state-imposed church or religion in the USA.
- Contrary to their own regulative principle and the practice of their Reformed fathers, most or all Reformed Baptist churches have instrumental music in their assemblies.
- The New Testament commands singing, which is defined as teaching and admonishing with grace and melody originating in the heart (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16).
- Reformed Baptists, consider! You pick and choose your preferences from the Bible and also from the Reformers, for Luther and Calvin rejected musical instruments.
- Musical instrument.
- Do you sing Psalms? The Reformers did, but better yet, the Bible commands it (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16; Jas 5:13).
- Many Reformed Baptists hold to a Christian Sabbath – a hybrid of Sabbatarianism and New Testament Christianity, which they copied from the covenantal Reformers.
- The Sabbath was fulfilled and ended by Christ’s death on the cross (Col 2:13-17).
- There is no more legitimacy of a Christian Sabbath than for Christian animal sacrifice or a Christian brazen serpent or a Christian priesthood.
- That Jewish relic belongs in the dustbin of ceremonial ordinances of the old covenant.
- They exalt the 16th century Protestant Reformation and even include it in their name, but they neglect or reject the apostolic reformation that got rid of the Sabbath and the other beggarly, carnal, elementary, sensual, and weak aspects of the Law (Heb 9:10).
- Contrary to their regulative principle, most or all Reformed Baptist churches have followed the Methodists and others in adopting Sunday schools by age segregation and usually with female instructors. Where is this invention in the Bible?
- See here for its extra-Biblical origin.
CONFESSIONS OF FAITH
- Though there may be a place for formal confessions of faith to articulate and summarize what a church believes, they must be used carefully lest they compete with scripture for authority, definitions, and tradition, no matter how indirectly or subtly.
- What happens when a pastor and people choose to reject Origen’s eternal generation of the Son of God? Do they jettison the whole 1689? Put an asterisk beside Chapter 2? Keep their faith private? or raise questions or ire in other churches by questioning it?
- Why the public and visible veneration of the 1689? It is not inspired. Reformed Baptists will stick loyally, dogmatically, and reverently to this writing of men (copying Presbyterians), but change Bible translations whenever they feel like it.
- What is wrong with the 1644, 1646, or 1655? Not Presbyterian enough? Read them.
- This veneration of creeds for antiquity led the Primitive Baptists to adopt the 1689 at Fulton, Kentucky in 1900 as their confession, though with extensive footnotes altering the meaning of the confession to line up with Primitive Baptist soteriology. Shame!
- Do Reformed Baptists show their Arminian tendencies here by trying to add to the book of life? If unconditional election is true, then evangelism should be for the elect.
- Do Reformed Baptists follow Paul’s preaching to the elect only (II Timothy 2:10)?
- Do Reformed Baptists follow Paul’s manner of looking for those who feared God wherever he went – in the Jewish synagogues in every city (Acts 17:1-4)?
- Do Reformed Baptists understand the Great Commission was fulfilled by those it was given to before 70 A.D. (Mark 16:17-20; I Tim 3:16; Col 1:6,23)?
- Do Reformed Baptists understand the general epistles of the N.T. lay no such burden on believers, but rather exhort them to holy and spiritual living as the children of God?
- The Bible warns against human tradition as a great evil (Mark 7:1-13; Colossians 2:8).
- Tradition is good and to be defended when it is apostolic in origin (II Thess 2:15; 3:6).
- But claiming a name for an historical movement as an identifier of your faith puts you on dangerous ground when it comes to being faithful to apostolic tradition alone.
- Some elements of Roman Catholicism are disguised and esteemed in the Reformed churches; it is the duty of apostolic Christians to identify and reject all such things.
- How can some teach their children to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints when venerating men like Martin Luther, who attacked the canonicity of James, approved the persecution of Anabaptists, taught baptismal regeneration and consubstantiation, marriage of church and state, etc.?
- Reformed Baptists miss the full identity and implications of Rome as the great whore, for they state allegiance in their name to the birth of her harlot daughters (Rev 17:1-6).
- Bible prophecy is as important as any other aspect of doctrine of scripture – we do not relegate it to the bin of the unimportant or matters on which we can agree to disagree.
- Where do Reformed Baptists stand on the prophecies of Daniel, Matthew 24, II Thess 2, Revelation 12-13, Revelation 17, the Millennium, etc.?
- Though Rome loves steeples and other phallic symbols, especially her Egyptian obelisk in St. Peter’s Square, Baptist churches should have nothing to do with such!
- We commend the Primitive Baptists for categorically rejecting such phallic symbols.
- After thanking God for truth we believe and obey, we must defend it from heresy (II Thes 2:15; 3:6).
- We do not like to be different, but we will be different if others depart from the once-delivered faith.
- We call on our Reformed Baptist brethren to consider these things and come out from among them.
For further study:
- Reformed Baptists describing themselves.
- Reformed Baptists.
- Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America.
- Are Baptists Reformed?
- Calvinism and Arminianism Compared to the Truth.
- Three Witnesses of Baptist History.
- Protestant Persecution of Baptists.
- Sermon outline, “Ancient Landmarks.
- The sermon outline, “The Sonship of Jesus Christ’.
- Samuel Richardson, Justification by Christ.
- Why We Are Not Primitive Baptists.
- Spiritual Adultery of Rome’s Holy Days.
- Baptist Confessions of Faith.
- Differences between Reformers and Anabaptists.