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What Does the Bible Say About..Baptist Doctrine?

Not a Question but a statement. I really appreciated your balanced and, for the most part, fair comparison of Baptists and Pentecostals. I do have comments to make. I am a Baptist pastor who has spent some time with both Church of Christ and Christian Union preachers. I whole-heartedly agree that that easy believism is truly one of the greatest evils that pervades the Christian Church today. The Bible clearly lays out the case for eternal salvation, however, it also lays out the fact that God said, "without holiness, no man shall see God". Don't allow some Baptists to speak for us all. Hooray for your distinction in tongues. If we would operate within the confines of the Word of God and quit tweaking it, denominations wouldn't exist.

Lest you think I am a "bad Baptist", I do disagree with the doctrines of the Church of Christ for the most part. Baptism for salvation, especially by any one group, is not totally scriptural. I see your "argument" from Acts concerning baptism, but it is heretical by definition to make it THE doctrine to determine salvation. Music was and is an important, essential, and integral part of worship. To deny the authority of the O.T. scripture in our lives is a slap in the face of the N.T. scriptures. See II Timothy 3:14-17. "All scriptures" and "able to make thee wise unto salvation" make the case. Timothy was raised in the O.T. scriptures, not the N.T. Anyhow, I don't intend to argue. I pray that we can work together under the banner of Christ as the lost world watches our every step and when they see the bickering, they see nothing worth having.


I have been unable to find where the Bible says "without holiness, no man shall see God," as this correspondent claims. Nevertheless, I gave him an answer without addressing that apparent discrepancy. Additionally, at the time I replied I was unfamiliar with the "Christian Union." After some research I find that the "Churches of Christ in Christian Union" are a small denomination centered in and around the Ohio area whose doctrines relative to salvation are more like most Baptist churches than those who generally call themselves the churches of Christ. In doctrine and organization they have few similarities to the churches of Christ with which I am familiar.

I thank you for your comments. I tried to express that I was no expert on Baptist doctrine. I tried to indicate when even Baptists disagree with each other. Thus I tried to use phrases such as "some Baptists," "most Baptists," or "official Baptist doctrine." I know that there are quite a few Baptists that don't necessarily hold the doctrines of unconditional election or limited atonement, while others do. I also understand that there are a few congregations or individuals among the Baptists as a whole who accept "speaking in tongues" as it is understood by most Pentecostals, but those are the exception.

I agree with you that we should not make immersion THE doctrine to determine salvation. Salvation is by grace through the death of Jesus. However, when one asks the differences between the churches of Christ and the Baptists I have to point that out as a primary difference. We believe so much the same about salvation that the principal difference is whether salvation is given to man before or at the point of immersion. Since both groups believe in the necessity of faith, repentance, and baptism the difference has to be in our understanding of the purpose of baptism. Unfortunately some have harped on that difference to the point that it appears that they are making it "THE doctrine to determine salvation." Salvation depends on so much more, especially the sacrifice of Jesus.

I don't deny the importance of the Old Testament scriptures. I do deny that the Law of Moses applies to me, a Gentile. Otherwise I would have to insist on circumcision (as Paul continued to teach for Jews but not Gentiles throughout his life), keeping kosher (as Peter did at least until the conversion of Cornelius), and keeping Sabbath (as Seventh Day Baptists still do) and the Jewish holidays. Acts 15 clearly shows, however, that such things were not bound on Gentile Christians. Most Baptists I know also do not keep those aspects of the Law, either. Regarding the use of musical instruments in worship, there are some in the churches of Christ who acknowledge that there is no specific prohibition of musical instruments in the New Testament. They generally do, however, hold the position that historically instruments were not introduced into the worship of the church for over three hundred years, and not accepted generally until the fifth century or later. They generally hold that instruments are no longer necessary, being a shadow under the Old Testament of the service of the heart under the New, just as we don't generally use incense or special garments for preachers. (Additionally, Jews have never used instruments in synagogue until recently, contending that the instruments were for Temple worship. That is one reason the church did not use instruments for several hundred years.) I only pointed out in passing that it was one of the main visible differences between the Baptists and the churches of Christ. I did not intend it to be taken as a major point of contention.

I agree that we must continue to work together to show Christ to the world. We may differ and disagree, even in those points such as baptism that one or the other considers an essential, can-not-give doctrine. But even in those differences we should not be contentious to the point of bringing discredit upon God and his word. Thank you for your comments.