We Baptists are a strange breed. We have so many kinds of Baptists because we want to let you know we are not at all like you! Now I do understand the need for separating ourselves from charlatans and those that do not believe in the Fundamentals of the faith, but sometimes we carry it a bit too far.
What did Jesus say? Mar 9:40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
I met a Pastor one day and was happy to meet him. I figured we could talk shop, discuss evangelism strategies, you know, good stuff like that. The first thing out of his mouth was, Can you tell me when the Church began? Just like that I was to be given the test to see if I was a genetic clone of his Baptist style.
I answered him by saying, if you go my God; the Church always existed as God has no time as we do. I went on to say that the Church is known as the Ecclesia which means the called out ones so perhaps some would like to believe that when Jesus called the Apostles, they were officially the Church.
On the other hand, we admit only baptized saved believers into our membership and we know that none of the apostles believed in the resurrection until Jesus appeared to them. They ran to the tomb thinking someone stole the body and so perhaps when the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost that was the official first day of the Church.
By the way, Matt: 16 Jesus says He will build His Church as if it was something He had not done but in Matt: 18 he gives rules about those who will not listen that they should be brought before the Church as if it existed. You decide.
Then I said that we are taught the doctrines of the Apostles which are the doctrines of Christ. If anywhere in the scripture we can find Paul and Peter or anyone else, debating the beginning of the Church then we must be assured that we will need that for our doctrine also but until then, I dont believe it is important.
He disagreed. Thought it was very important. And so then that is my point. Why do we spend so much time trying to pretend we are these super strong pillars of the one true Church?
People other than Baptists will be in heaven. They will have to be saved and believe in salvation in Christ alone but they will be in heaven.
You all heard the story of the Christian who died and went to heaven. He was given the tour by Peter when they see a big wall with BE QUIET written on it. The man asked what it meant and Peter said, On the other side is where the Baptists are and we need to be quiet because they think they are the only ones here.
The best humor is when you can laugh at yourself. We have these ideas passed down from generation to generation but why?
One Pastor spoke to my youth and started telling the young boys that to be a good Baptist they should get themselves a white shirt and tie. I stopped him there. I said dont teach my children that. Some are fortunate if they have a ripped t shirt. The Pastor was a Filipino and some American missionary influenced his life. He was a good Pastor, just had strange ideas about ties. I personally like barongs!
Ask yourselves, why do I think the way I do? Is it biblical or extra-biblical? Do I need it to make a better church or will it be better to bring more souls to the kingdom? If not, drop it.
Finally, I hear so much about music. Some people feel if Fanny Crosby didnt write it or if it wasnt written prior to 1912, it cant be a Christian song. Not all music is bad.
The Bible teaches us to use the high sounding symbols but I never saw one in Church. It told us to shout His praises, raise our hands and jump for joy and also to do everything decently and in order.
How about this verse? 1Ch 15:16 And David spoke to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.
Imagine walking into a Church and hearing all these instruments with people shouting for joy as they did then?
Lets realize that all cultures are different and just because we dont like our music like they like their music it doesnt mean they are wrong.
I think sometimes this verse points to us: Mat 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Help us Lord to fight against the things that are truly bad and not pick fights with those who are merely different.