2007June17, Sunday

Why I’m No Longer Baptist

Posted in Random Thoughts at 18:50 by Trey Austin

This needs no explanation.

I’ll just say this: at least our creed isn’t on our church sign.

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26 Comments »

  1. tempe said,

    I wonder if they’d be interested in planting a church in nearby Louisville. I’m going there to interview this weekend and would like to know about the local “competition.”

    This might be the coup de grace of church signs I’ve ever seen; have you ever noticed the following church near your old stomping grounds in Travelers Rest, SC: Old Fashion Baptist Church (I think the “ed” was even missing)? It’s located on Paris Mountain Road; perhaps this church was a plant from it!

  2. Trey Austin said,

    Actually, i was at the North Greenville Baptist Association meeting where Old Fashion(ed?) Baptist Church was officially received into the association back when i was a Southern Baptist (the meeting was even at the church i was associate pastor in). It was during a time when Calvinism was a huge issue in the association, and that church was full of “hollering” Baptists. They didn’t holler so much that day, but they were sure in with the Amens and all the other “atta-boy” antics when anyone said anything against the doctrines of grace. I don’t remember how it came to be “planted.” Of course, the Southern Baptist idea of church planting is “church splits.” For some reason, i’m remembering that OFBC was a “split” plant.

    I’ll be praying for you going to Louisville. Let me know how it goes. 🙂

  3. Trey Austin said,

    You know, looking at this sign again, if you read the list of these distinctives is read in columns from left to right, that means that the very last two things on the list are “love driven” and “Scripturally est[ablished].” I guess that shows the kind of importance those two fundamental things are, well behind “independent” and “pre-millenial” [sic].

  4. tempe said,

    Trey, just out of curiosity, were you “against” the Doctrines of Grace at that time as well? If not, how did that fly in the association?

    I emailed the pic of the sign to several folks. One wrote back that he was surprised that “King James Only” wasn’t on the sign (though I’m sure it’s implied). I thought about the church just off I-85 near (I believe) Gaffney, SC: the one with the giant cross with “A.V. 1611” written on it.

    Somehow, I doubt that. I don’t suspect too many folks in the church would enjoy reading those spelling in the 1611 KJV. Just to show them up I bought a copy of the 1599 Geneva Bible (the reprint with modern spellings and fonts) just so I could a 12 year head start. Maybe I’ll create a church sign with “GB 1599” on a giant cross…

  5. Trey Austin said,

    No, i wasn’t against sovereign grace at the time. There were two churches that had Reformed pastors, and then i was an associate pastor. In that particular meeting, the one man who was a Reformed pastor was preaching (on believer’s baptism), and he was, not long after, fired from his pastoral position (in part, because of his Calvinistic views). He then went to become an associate at the other church that had a Reformed pastor, and that (smaller) church had been convinced to embrace the doctrines of grace.

    In associations, though, there isn’t the kind of oversight on the doctrinal views of pastors and churches that there are in presbyteries. It wasn’t a big deal, even though most people didn’t like it. That’s the nature of congregationalism.

    Speaking of the KJV, i saw on Mark Horne’s blog an article by a gay activist showing all the evidence (and it’s apparently not hard to find) of King James I’s homosexual predelictions. In fact, many even in his own day called him “Queen James,” and said that Elizabeth *WAS* King, and now James *IS* Queen. So, you should remind people of that fact when they start touting it; just let them know that the QJV Bible is just one among many. 🙂

  6. tempe said,

    What is the link to Horne’s blog?

  7. Trey Austin said,

    His blog is: http://hornes.org/mark/

    The post that contains the link is: http://www.hornes.org/mark/?p=1546

  8. Chris Hutchinson said,

    There was a church near where I used to live called, “Old Fellowship Baptist Church.”

    Across the street? “New Fellowship Baptist Church.”

    I don’t even want to know the story there!

    Chris H.
    Blacksburg

  9. Trey Austin said,

    That’s not as bad as the two churches i saw once. The first was “Zion Missionary Baptist Church,” and the other, in another part of town, was “Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church.”

    Old/New is bad, but claiming to be “greater” is worse. 😉

  10. bentok said,

    They spelled millennial wrong. 😛

  11. Tony said,

    I thought that was why you were no longer a Baptist. I could see an atheist posting this picture and stating that it is the reason why he is no longer a Christian. The reasoning/reaction is just as bad and snobbish. I thought about posting a sign on my blog from the PRC that reads “Genuinely Calvinistic, Covenantal, Common Grace hating” and stating it as the reason why I reject paedo baptism and the Reformed Tradition. It would be just as silly.

    Yes, they misspelled “premillennial,” just as Trey misspelled “churh sign” [sic].

  12. Tony said,

    p.s. You may not have your creed on your “churh” sign, but you do have it in your blog address (reformedblogs.com) 🙂

  13. Trey Austin said,

    Alright, i corrected my misspelling of “churh.” And, touche, Tony (sounds like a nickname: “Touche Tony”), about these being bad ground for rejecting credo-baptism. It was posted in jest, on the whole. Would you feel better if i said, “Why I’m No Longer a Fundamentalist Baptist?”

    If you’d like, i can post the real reasons i rejected the baptistic hermeneutic for reading Scripture. 🙂

  14. tempe said,

    Trey, when you corrected the original post, you managed to “shave” off a portion of the sign. Let’s face it, the photo suffers a bit if you can’t read all of it (especially the “we are” portion).

    With regard to post #8 (and indicting presbyterian churches to a degree when I say this): while in seminary, I attended a Presbyterian church called Unity. This was originally formed as a church plant, but ironically most of the original core group split from a PCUSA church in town (and I’m not sure it was for all the “right” reasons that one might associate with leaving the PCUSA). Well, after a couple of years, many of the original members had a falling out with the pastor and left. They went and formed a new church (non-demoninational I think) and called it “First Unity.”

  15. Trey Austin said,

    Alright, the picture is now smaller, but i hope you can still see everything.

    BTW, Tim, that divisiveness calling itself “unity” isn’t much different from alot of Presbyterians i know. It is funny how they say that they stand for unity, but they define unity as doctrinal unanimity around their own convictions. That’s the only kind of unity that they know of–and they wrap it in the pious clothing of “standing for truth at all costs.” How nice.

  16. tempe said,

    I know you can tell by now, but the pic is now busted…

  17. tempe said,

    Perfect! BTW, thanks for the link to the blog of your Baptist friend. I really appreciated the fact that he had a link to the itunes classes offered free of charge by RTS. I downloaded two of John Frame’s classes this afternoon!

  18. steve kaplinger said,

    I’m not a paedobaptist because there’s not a single mention of infant baptism in the OT or the NT. If you’re going to be theologically consistent, you must also hold to paedo-communion. Otherwise you will have holes in your arguments if you try to deny one and hold to the other. I know this post was somewhat in jest, but paedobaptist argumentation is no “slam dunk”. Of course, that never keeps anyone from making fun of the dumb baptist fundies who put up such church signs…

    Thanks,

    –SK

  19. Trey Austin said,

    Couple of things, SK:

    First, saying that there isn’t a mention of the practice in the OT or NT is actually a bit off. As has often been pointed out, there isn’t a single mention of women partaking of communion in the OT or the NT–not a one! Logically speaking, the only premise that can make “Neither the OT or the NT give an example of infant baptism” conclude “Therefore, infant baptism is wrong and should not be practiced,” is the premise “Whatever is not explicitly exemplified in either the OT or the NT is wrong and should not be practiced” (mind you, *THAT* premise is itself seen nowhere in the OT or the NT, but just for the sake of argument, we’ll ignore that fact). Yet, for that premise to be true, it must be true for all things, and not just for infant baptism, so i guess i should, when i go tomorrow and inform my congregation that no infants should be baptized anymore that when communion time comes in tomorrow’s worship, the women are not permitted to participate.

    Second, there are no holes in the argument for infant baptism without infant communion–not that i have all that much problem with the notion of infant communion, though i myself have not formally adopted the position. This, however, is also a fallacious argument against infant baptism. To argue that paedocommunion “must” be true if paedobaptism is true is to direct attention away from the point you’re trying to make and argue similarity that may not be true.

    Third, i plan on writing a post spelling out clearly the reasons why i left my baptistic convictions behind and embraced paedobaptism. Please stick around and interact with the post that will come, DV, early next week.

  20. tempe said,

    I remember a time, about 4 years ago, when Trey was Steve and I was Trey. I must have done a great job convincing Trey… 😉

    Actually, believer’s baptism is about the only thing that sign DOESN’T mention!

  21. steve kaplinger said,

    Trey,

    I’ll check out your future post, but I think you missed my point. The Lord’s Supper is in the Scriptures, believer’s baptism is in the Scriptures, infant baptism however is not. Not once, ever. All you’ve got to cling to is “household baptisms”, and that little phrase is too small to hold the weight of this doctrine. I’ll be happy to hear what flipped the switch for you on this one, but I’ll be quite surprised if I hear some new convincing biblical “proof” of a doctrine that is *invisible*.

    And there is a gaping hole in the argument for infant baptism if it doesn’t also include infant communion. Every argument you use to defend paedobaptism (unity of the covenants, nature of the church, subjects of baptism, etc.) is applicable to paedocommunion. If you assert one without the other you are being theologically inconsistent (not a crime, many Christians are). Be that as it may, I’ll be waiting for your post…

    (Here’s my bold prediction. Before long you will be writing a post explaining why you now hold to paedo-communion)

    God bless,

    –SK

  22. Trey Austin said,

    Steve, no i didn’t miss your point. The point is that *BOTH* baptism *AND* the Eucharist are in the Bible. In *NEITHER* case, though, is a particular segment of the population mentioned of receiving the sacrament. The Bible gives no explicit mention of babies being baptized (assuming for the moment that the connection between baptism and circumcision is irrelevant), and the Bible gives no explicit mention of women being communed. The *POINT* is that, if your standard for a particular sacramental practice is that it must be *EXPLICITLY* mentioned (and that any kind of reasoning that argues for good and necessary consequence from other Scriptural principles is out of the question), then to be *CONSISTENT* you’d have to withold the Eucharist from women just as you withold baptism from children.

  23. steve kaplinger said,

    Trey,

    Not so, it is affirmed in the NT that with regard to our standing as children of God, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:28. Therefore are we to conclude that women are excluded from the Lord’s Supper? I don’t see how we could since male and female have equal standing in the gospel.

    So, that’s *explicit* enough for me. How about infant baptism? Where in the Bible shall we turn?

    Is the new covenant in our blood lines, or in the blood of Christ?

    “This is the NEW covenant in MY blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Cor. 11:25)

    “…and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.” (Mt. 3:9)

    –SK

  24. Trey Austin said,

    Yes, Mr. Kaplinger, it says that about our standing in Christ, but nowhere does it say anything about those women partaking of Communion. Please show me one example! Until you do, i shall remain unconvinced! (At least, that’s how the biblicist argument against infant baptism goes, anyway.)

    The point remains, though, that if you are appealing to good and necessary inference for women in Communion (which you have by bringing up Galatians 3:28, which says nothing about Communion), then you must allow for (if you were to be consistent in your hermeneutic–at least that’s what you keep saying to me about infant communion!) good and necessary inference for infants in baptism.

  25. steve kaplinger said,

    Trey,

    The real question here is, “Do we read the NT through the Old, or the Old through the New?” Since the NT interprets the Old, and since there is greater understanding of those things in the OT that were shadowy and obscured (the progressive nature of revelation is to reveal more of the truth through time), I assert we must read the Old through the lens of the New. In Acts the Holy Spirit is very specific when stating that both *men* and *women* were being baptized and added to the church. Now we may very well say there is “good and necessary inference” with regard to women partaking of the Lord’s Supper. Since it is a sacrament of the church, we can infer that because *women* were being baptized and becoming a part of the church that they are to be included. Where is there any clear statement intimating as much for infants? The Bible is silent and you know an argument from silence is tenuous at best.

    Now if you hold to the unity of the covenants without admitting to a disunity also, then your position makes sense. If you read the NT through the Old, you’re on target. But are you right to do so? That is the million dollar question.

    –SK


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