What Does It Mean to be Baptist?

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Starting at the Beginning

Please note that the title of this article is What Does It Mean to Be Baptist, not What Does It mean to Be A Baptist. Within the context of the independent Baptist movement, we must understand that Baptist is not a noun, but an adjective. I am Baptist, not a Baptist. The word Baptist describes a belief system.

Independent Baptists do not constitute a denomination. That being said, there are all kinds of denominational Baptists: Southern Baptist, American Baptist, General Association of Regular Baptists, the list goes on. There are all kinds of Baptist conferences, conventions, and associations. They belong to a denomination and are not under independent rule.

As independents our rule comes from the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ. Scripture outlines seven major doctrines that constitute Baptist Doctrine. Baptist is only a term to describe a belief system. You may not adhere to the belief system. That is okay, but I have long ago settled in my mind that these basic Bible doctrines are true. Therefore, this article is not about who is right and who is wrong, but about what constitutes Baptist beliefs.

If you adhere to the following seven doctrinal teachings you are Baptist even though you do not attend a Baptist church. On the other hand, if you attend a Baptist church but do not follow these teachings, you are not Baptist. With that in mind please allow me to briefly introduce you to these seven baptist distinctives.

Contending for the Faith

Baptists possess a rich heritage. Jude 3 tells us, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

It was due to those past contenders that allow us to have the freedom and the Truth today. As Baptists, we trace our roots back to the New Testament Church that we see in the book of Acts. Along the way, many have paid the ultimate price of death to secure the Truth for us. It is because of their sacrifice that we are able to continue in “the old time religion” today.

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Seven Baptist Doctrines

The first Baptist Distinctive upon which all others are based is the sole authority of the Scriptures. If the Bible says it, that settles it. The Bible is the sole authority for our faith and practice. We, as Baptist, hold to the verbal-plenary inspiration of Scripture. In other words, God so guided the human authors that not just the ideas were inspired, but the very words were God-breathed (verbal). Not only that, but that every word is the Word of God (plenary), and equally inspired. All other Baptist beliefs stem from the fact that the Bible is trustworthy and complete (II Timothy 3:16, 17).

Secondly, Baptists hold to the belief of salvation by grace through faith and repentance alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Acts 17:30). We cannot earn or pay for our salvation in any way shape or form.

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Thirdly, Baptists believe that once we are saved, we cannot lose our salvation (I Peter 1:5). We are eternally secure in the arms of Jesus. We are not given a license to sin. If we truly realize what Christ has done for us, we will love Him and want to serve Him with all of our heart. But absolutely no sin can separate us from the Father (Romans 8:35, 39).

The fourth distinctive is the autonomy of the local church. Each church is independent of every other church and answerable only to her Head, Jesus Christ. Even though Christ is the Head, He has given the pastor (as His under-shepherd) the authority to oversee His church (I Peter 5:2; Hebrews 13:7).

Lifegate indulging in the privilege of baptizing his 9 year old granddaughter
Lifegate indulging in the privilege of baptizing his 9 year old granddaughter

Fifthly, Baptists hold to the doctrine of baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper as ordinances rather than sacraments. A sacrament is a work required to earn God’s favor. Baptism witnesses to the world of one’s free choice to follow Christ. The Lord’s Supper is a remembrance of Christ’s sacrificial work on the cross. Neither in any way bring salvation.

Baptists also believe in the individual priesthood of the believer—the teaching that each individual can come representing himself before the throne of God (Hebrews 4:16; 10:19; I Peter 2:5). Along with this is the concept of sole liberty. Sole liberty teaches that each individual is responsible only to God for his doctrine, practice, and conscience. Again, that does not justify loose living. Each individual is responsible for his obedience to Christ (I John 2:27; Romans 14:5).

Lastly, Baptists believe in the separation of church and state. If each individual is responsible to God, then certainly the state should not dictate to anyone what religious beliefs they should hold. It seems that the New Testament church has always been under some form of persecution, but true Baptists will always obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29). Just as the state is to have no control of an individual’s beliefs, neither is the church to attempt to control the state. We should however, be concerned about the state of politics (Romans 13:1).

Along with these seven distinctives, Baptists also believe in the trinity; the incarnation, virgin birth, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ; the reality of the Second Coming, Heaven and Hell.

If you adhere to all of the above, you are baptist regardless of the name that is on the building. Men, women, and children have all been put to death to protect the freedoms outlined in Scripture and the privileges that accompany them. Remember that with every privilege comes responsibility. You and I have the tremendous responsibility of ensuring that future generations continue to have the opportunity to practice what we so often take for granted.

How many of these basic Bible doctrines do you adhere to?

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The Baptist Mission

In 1777 Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag. In 1782 the bald eagle became the national bird. In 1896 the phrase “In God We Trust” was placed on our coins. And in 1986 the rose became the official flower of the American people. Our roots run deep. Thousands have sacrificed their lives by shedding their blood on foreign soil that we might remain free. We have a heritage to be proud of, and I for one, am proud to be an American.

Likewise, Baptists have a spiritual heritage. I am also proud to be Baptist, in part, due to its rich history. I am proud to follow in the ways of thousands who have sacrificed their lives by shedding their blood that I might remain spiritually free.

“The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe .” (John 1:7). John the Baptist was paving the way for Jesus and His church. He came as a witness of the Light that should come. Matthew 3:2, 3 goes on to tell us that John came preaching repentance and preparing the way and making the path straight. “And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

John’s message was one of repentance. This is to be our message. We are to be witnesses for the Light. We are to make His paths straight. We have been sent by the same God that established the New Testament church. Our roots run deep.

Jesus said In Matthew 16:18, “…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Christ promised to build His church upon the foundation of He being the Son of God (Matthew 16:16). He is still building that same church using the same doctrine. Jesus promised that the first century church would never die—NEVER.

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Comments 38 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I used to teach school for a time in a Catholic school, and I would always ask the kids what it meant to be Catholic. They could never tell me what the differences were between Catholicism and other Christian religions. That's my long way around to stating that articles like this one are valuable.


Availiasvision profile image

Availiasvision 2 years ago from California

I echo what Billybuc said, unfortunately people don't see the major differences between modern Catholicism and Protestant Christianity. Even the label of Protestantism can be misleading.

I agree with each of the above doctrines stated above but have never labeled myself a Baptist. I'm just not sure how I feel about them, but not in a post-modern sort of way. I'd say I have Calvinist tendencies, but see a danger in being too aggressive with it. I follow Christ. Scripture is inerrant and sufficient, Christ is supreme, Salvation is by Grace. What a second....isn't that what you just said. By your definition, I am a Baptist. But at the end of the day, I follow Christ, no matter what label is put on me.

I attended a church, of a large denomination, for about twenty years. I didn't like how the head organization would disallow or allow certain things. All kinds of heretical teachings were creeping in from the top down. Since, I have attended a few (moved) local bible-centeric, non-denominational churches, and have felt they were much more aligned with scripture. I like that Christ is the head of the church and that the power isn't centralized with man. However, there is a place for setting doctrine and church discipline.

Overall, well done article; very clear and easy to understand.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Hi, fascinating read as I never knew the difference between denominations, I am Church of England, and to be honest its many years since I attended, really interesting and now I understand, useful hub, nell


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

I grew up Welsh Baptist, my uncle has been a Deacon most of his life.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Bill,

Thanks for being first to comment - again! Glad you found it valuable. That's my long way around to stating that was the purpose of the article. Even if people don't see the difference, or agree , my purpose with this and with most other articles is to give folks something to think about - to find some value in it. As always, thanks for stopping by. It's always good to see you!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Jen,

Glad you were able to stop by, and thanks for adding to the conversation. Baptists are generally non-denominational. Baptist just describes the belief system, so if I could, may I just make one correction. You said, "By your definition, I am a Baptist." Actually by my definition You are Baptist, not A Baptist - Baptist being an adjective, not a noun. Just a little picky I guess, but it does make a difference. Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by. glad to hear from you!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Nell,

I'm glad you found it useful. That's what I was hoping for. Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to stop by, read, and comment!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Lady,

Thanks for the visit, and the comment.


sheilamyers 2 years ago

Thanks for explaining all of the things in your list. At first I was confused about the statements about being Baptist but not Baptist. You did a very good job explaining what you meant. Going by the the things in your list exactly as you have them worded, I have to say I'm Baptist by your definition and description. That said, I really don't like stating I'm this or that and usually just say my beliefs most closely resemble those of the Quakers and Methodists or to change up what you said, I'm Quaker but not Quaker and Methodist but not Methodist. I'll go to any church as long as they stick to what is written in the Bible. I'll walk out if the pastor starts adding all that New Age "let's be all-inclusive" nonsense, twisting what Scripture teaches, and so on.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

I appreciate the explanation of your title as well as the discussion on these seven doctrines. I have to be secretive about whether or not I'm Baptist (smile).


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

I am Baptist but I was saved and baptized Pentecostal Holiness when I was about 12. Reckon that will carry me over? There was some Holy Spirit in that church I can tell you. I had JW come by my door this week and they do not believe in the Holy Spirit. I knew I didn't agree with their beliefs but so shocked to hear that. Well just thought I would share that with you. I always had the feeling JW don't quite give Jesus His rightful place either if I am remembering correctly. It is a real shame for people to be so devoutfully wrong; isn't it? I mean they spend so much time in the word and trying to recruit others; you would think they would read it all? We can't just ignore what we don't like and why would we want to? A real shame.

Great food for thought Bill.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 2 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Interseting History Bill. Of all the things you listed i have to confess a favorite is the sole authority of the scriptures. I am still undetermined on the once saved always saved idea...lots of scriptures backing both views.

I especially loved the photo of you baptizing your granddaughter stunningly precious!!! That's just pure gold!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Good morning sheila,

Glad you were able to stop by for a while. I just wanted to clear up a point. You said, "At first I was confused about the statements about being Baptist but not Baptist." Actually what I was saying is that one is Baptist, not A Baptist. The first is an adjective describing a belief system. The second is a noun saying who I am. My belief system is Baptist, but I am a born again Christian. There may be other born again Christians using somewhat different belief systems. They would not be Baptist. Then you have some who, as in your case may go to a Methodist (or other denominational) church that follow the seven areas that I listed. They may say, "I go to A Methodist church, but my beliefs are Baptist (adjective). Hope that helps with some of the confusion. On the other hand, I probably muddied the waters even more. As a side thought, Independent Baptist Churches are not denominational. The term Baptist used as a church represents the belief system, not a brand. As always, thanks for stopping by!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi MsDora,

Glad you got something out of the article. I'm good at keeping secrets, lol.

Have a great day in the Lord.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

We need more of the Holy Spirit in our churches today, Jackie. He's sadly missed in most lives. The JWs, that's another thing. Yes, no Holy Spirit there. Jesus is a created angel, brother of satan, One went the good way, the other evil. No hell in JW theology, and on and on with error. They have their own "translation" of the Bible (New World Translation) which explains away the truths found in the true Bible, and leads to their erroneous thinking. It truly is sad. Glad you were able to visit!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Tammy,

The authority of the Scriptures is the most important of the seven. Without it, the other six can't be trusted.

It was such a joy to baptize my grandchildren - still a couple more to go.

For me, if I can lose my salvation, I'm saying Jesus is strong enough to save, but strong enough to keep it. The flesh has to keep it. The flesh has no good. It would be impossible for us to keep it. Anyway, just a quick thought. Thanks for stopping by!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Well Bill, this was very informative. I can say amen to all 7. I've always wanted to know what "Plenary" and "Sacrament" meant. The meaning of Sacrament surprised me. I don't hear it much.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi LS,

Glad you got some clarification. Hope all is well in the great pacific northwest! Have a great weekend.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

Hello, I have some questions that have been troubling me for years. To begin you wrote, "The first Baptist Distinctive upon which all others are based is the sole authority of the Scriptures. If the Bible says it, that settles it. The Bible is the sole authority for our faith and practice."

My question is about the Book of Joshua. It is written Joshua received a command from The Lord to enter the land of Canaan and kill every man woman and child and take the land. Less than one generation had passed since Moses said, "Thou shalt not kill." Now, why is the Lord contradicting himself? What am I missing?


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Jay C OBrien ,

I assume the verse you are referring to is Joshua 10:40. You ask "what am I missing?" I think what you're missing is the Hebrew definition of the words "kill", and in Joshua, the word "destroyed."

The word for "kill" in Exodus 20:13 is "râtsach". Literally, the word can be translated as "murder". "Thou shalt not murder." Cain became the first murderer when he slew his brother Abel. The word "slew" also means "murder". It was the taking of innocent life.

The word for destroy is "châram", and means just that - to utterly destroy. Joshua was to utterly destroy the Canaanites, but why? The Canaanites were not innocent people. They were very wicked even to the point of sacrificing their children. They were to be destroyed, not murdered. Sin has a price. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

This certainly is not the only time God destroyed nations because of their wickedness. He destroyed the world by a flood, and Scripture tells that the only righteous ones were Noah and his family. He destroyed the rest. Sodom and Gomorrah would have been spared if there were 10 righteous people, but there weren't even that many. Lot and his family were the only ones to escape.

We have to understand the attributes of God. God is first and foremost holy. God would want to bring all people to Himself through the shed blood of His Son who willingly gave his life for mankind, but unless mankind turns and embraces the only hope he has (Christ), he will also likewise perish - thoughts for another time, but the short answer to your question is that God is not responsible. Our sin is. Hope that helps. Maybe I'll expand on it in a hub. Thanks for stopping by.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

Thank you for your response. I only read English so I can only use what I have. If "to kill" means "murder" what difference? Joshua plans ahead of time to kill/murder people. The question is, "Is any killing (murder) of God?" What is God like? Is God a killer/murderer?

It seems it would be good to have a better view of God. Do you follow? Jesus depicted God as a loving, forgiving father. This contradicts the Old Testament (OT) depiction of God. The NT is a shift in what God is like. Do you understand? God was never like the OT God, but that is what the Rabbis teach. I follow the teachings of Jesus over the OT Rabbis. Does that make sense?


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Jay,

Glad to see you back again! To answer your first question. Murder is dealing with the innocent - without a cause. Joshua was responding to the sin of an entire nation - Canaan. They were wicked through and through. America is quickly falling under this same situation, and I have no doubt if we don't repent, God will judge us a a nation as well.

God never placed the burden of "killing" anyone in the hands of the individual, but He did ordain government for that purpose. That's why He established the "cities of refuge" (Numbers 35:6.) The death sentence is to be carried out (if and when, and only when it's necessary) by the government, be that war or execution for crimes committed - another topic), not by individuals running wild like Cain.

So for your next question - No, killing was never God's intention. It's man' sin that resulted in the need for wars, etc.

"What is God like?" That's really the essence of the debate. God is first and foremost holy. His love stems from His holiness, not the other way around. Man's sin causes death (Romans 6:23), and a pure, holy God can't overlook sin. He can't pretend that it doesn't exist.

Suppose someone broke into your house while you were out and attacked, mangled, and slaughtered your wife. The culprit is picked up down the street and is taken before the judge. The judge says, "I know what you've done. It's unacceptable. It's not human. The law calls for life in prison without parole, but that's not loving. I'm a loving judge, so you're free to go. Really would justice be served? But yet that's we expect so often from the Judge of the Universe.

You're next question - " Is God a killer/murderer?" again the answer is that was never His intention, but He is the judge and He does so because His holiness demands justice, and so He will carry out the sentence.

I don't see a shift from the OT to the NT. God does deal with His people in different ways in different time periods, but God has always been merciful. If at any time the Canaanites would have repented of their sin and turned to God, He would have accepted them with open arms, but that was no the case. In the NT, people are cast into the Lake of Fire. That's not God just indiscriminately killing people. That's God on His throne responding to righteous judgment. I would definitely follow the teachings of Jesus (who taught about hell) over rabbis, but we must be careful to rightly divide the word ("Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" - II Timothy 2:15).

This is not an easy question to answer and understand. I admire you for asking.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

Thank you for your answer. You are the first person I have ever asked to give me an intelligent response.

Let me ask another question. Based on the writings we have about what Jesus taught, what do you think Jesus would have said to Joshua about the invasion of Canaan?


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

The Son was always in agreement with the Father. He would have given the same command. : I and my Father are one" - John 10:30


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

In reviewing the above posts I suggest Joshua suffered from the sin of pride. Joshua condemned the Canaanites and sought to dominate them to the extent of genocide. If someone has not said this before, I will say it: Do not kill or do violence to anyone, ever. Jesus said it better, "Love your enemies."

Refer to the teachings of Jesus in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) and the Adulteress (John 8:4-11). In neither story did the father (or Jesus) condemn the person. He did Not judge.

The father ran to his son and welcomed him before the son said a word. "But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him." Luke 15:20.

The adulteress said not a word of repentance to Jesus and He said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again." Repentance had nothing to do with the story. John 8:4-11.

Let us follow the God of Jesus, not the God depicted in Judaism (Old Testament). To be Christian one must renounce the God of the OT (wrathful, warlike, killer of children), the God of Israel.

Jesus said, "You judge by human standards; I judge no one." John 8:15

Condemn and you will be condemned, forgive and you will be forgiven.

Jesus did not condemn the adulteress, John 8:4


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks for comment. But I respectfully choose to disagree. I will never deny the God of the Old Testament. The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament. Jesus Christ is God.

When the father forgave the prodigal, the son was seeking forgiveness. He did not remain in his rebellion as the Canaanites did. The adulterous woman was humbled by her experience, and Jesus, being God, knew her heart as she also sought forgiveness. Forgiveness was granted.

At one point you ask, why did God condone killing in the case of Joshua. Now you speculate that it was Joshua acting out of pride - which is it?

Let's also not forget that all judgment is committed to the Son (John 5:22) and that it is Jesus Himself will come in fierce judgment at His second coming (Revelation 19:11-16). He will cast the lost into the Lake of Fire in Revelation 20:11-15.

Thanks for participating, but the hub is about the definition of Baptist, and not war so we're off topic.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

OK, let us talk about scripture. Do not add or detract from the stories. In neither story was it stated that forgiveness was sought. Jesus said, "You judge by human standards; I judge no one." John 8:15. That means what it says, not what you said. Jesus/God judges no one.

Speaking of taking away scripture, why did the Protestants remove whole books from the canonized Bible?


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Sorry for the late reply. I've been away.

" For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22)

"And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. " (John 5:27)

" For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." (Matthew 16:27)

" And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead." (Acts 10:42)

" In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel" (Romans 2:16)

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." (II Corinthians 5:10)

" I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; " (II Timothy 4:11 )

" Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead." (I Peter 4:5)

"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. " (Revelation 11:, 12)

As far as your question about the Protestants removing books from the Bible, if that is indeed the case, you would need need to ask a Protestant. I have no idea.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

Thank you and I have been away also. Do we agree then? All judgment/condemnation is for Jesus and Jesus does Not judge/condemn? Jesus said, "You judge by human standards; I judge no one." John 8:15

We must make judgments to live in this world, but we should not judge to the extent of creating negative emotions. It is the negative emotions which is the sin (anger, jealousy, hatred, etc.). Does this make sense?

Earlier you wrote: "Suppose someone broke into your house while you were out and attacked, mangled, and slaughtered your wife. The culprit is picked up down the street and is taken before the judge. The judge says, "I know what you've done. It's unacceptable. It's not human. The law calls for life in prison without parole, but that's not loving. I'm a loving judge, so you're free to go. Really would justice be served? But yet that's we expect so often from the Judge of the Universe."

How would Jesus treat this? Jesus said, "I condemn no one."

Baptist, Lutheran, Anglican, etc. split off from the Roman Catholic church and are all Protestant (Protestant Reformation). You are a Protestant if you claim to be Baptist. The Protestants removed several books from the canonized Bible (The Apocrypha). So I am asking you a Baptist/Protestant why did you do that?

Per Webster's, Apocrypha: The 14 books of the Septuagint excluded from the Jewish and Protestant canons, 11 of which are part of the RC canon.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Jesus is the judge as i listed the above verses


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Jesus is the judge as i listed the above verses


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Jay,

Somehow my last comment didn't go through correctly. so I'll try again. First of all, we do not agree. Jesus is the Judge as I listed in the above verses. He, and He alone judges As for your question concerning Jesus judging the murder case. He would judge righteously. Love without justice is not love. God's love stems from His holiness, not the other way around. Holiness calls justice.

You are partially right when you say Jesus doesn't condemn. Man condemns himself by his sin. " For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is CONDEMNED ALREADY (emphasis, mine), because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:17, 18). But He does judge. As a matter of fact there will be a scene yet future very similar to the one I described. You can read about it in Revelation 20:10-15.

As for the Protestant comment, I'm no more Protestant than I am Roman Catholic. The churches making up the Protestant category are the Lutheran, Episcopal, and Anglican. Those that carry the Independent Baptist name are neither Catholic nor Protestant.

As far as the canon of Scripture, I'd need a whole hub to explain that, so maybe in the future I can address that through a hub. Thanks for the idea.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

See, "List of Christian denominations by number of members," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Baptists are Protestants. What seminary did you attend?


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

I don't believe everything I read on Wikipedia, or the internet for that matter. In this case, Wikipedia is mistaken. Baptist teaching precedes the Reformation by several hundred years. It was not always called "Baptist", but the teaching is the same. No, independent Baptists are not Protestant.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

Thank you for your information. I was not aware of the Independent Baptist Sect. Yes, Wiki is only a beginning.

Summary From: Gotquestions.com

Question: "Who are the Independent Baptists, and what do they believe?"

Answer: Independent Baptists, often also known as Independent Fundamental Baptists (IFB), are a group that started within the greater Baptist denominations in the late 19th to early 20th century.

Many within the IFB movement will claim to trace their origin to Jesus’ ministry. They point out that many groups through history maintained Baptist principles and were therefore “Baptist” in practice, if not in name.

1. The New Testament is the authority in all matters of faith and practice.

This means that IFB churches do not look to creeds, confessions, or church councils to determine their doctrinal positions. They articulate their doctrine only from the Scripture and claim to operate their churches according to what is presented in Scripture and not based on tradition or denominational preference (2 Timothy 3:16).

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Independent-Baptists.h...

First, is this summary correct?

Second, Do Independent Baptists accept the Apocrypha or reject it?


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hello again Jay,

Yes, that is pretty accurate. The only thing I would add is that I would add the Old Testament to the statement, "The New Testament is the authority in all matters of faith and practice." When properly understood, the Old Testament compliments the New Testament and vice versa.

To answer your second question would be very difficult to answer here. I may do a hub on it in the future where I can expand on some of the points. Even though Baptists are not protestant we do only use the 39 Old Testament books and the 27 New Testament books. Here are a couple of links if you're interested. Not all are Baptist by the way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGeB8_pDuAg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w15GkoxhcQM


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

How do you reconcile the genocide committed by Joshua against the Canaanites VS. the loving Father taught by Jesus?


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

I already answered that in one above comments.

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