Reformed Baptist?

Recently I mentioned a book that I have been reading, “A Reformed Baptist Manifesto”, which inspired the question by some, “What is a Reformed Baptist?” Below is my response in an attempt to sum it up very briefly.

In an effort to try to be brief, a “Reformed Baptist” is basically someone who holds to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. Someone who is reformed in their theology generally identifies with the early reformers of the Church, such as, Luther, Calvin, Knox, etc. Many people debate whether or not someone can be both Reformed and Baptist, as there are significant differences in the theology of the two groups, such as mode of Baptism, subjects of Baptism, and what exactly Baptism symbolizes, etc.

I personally think the debate on whether or not someone can be both Reformed and Baptist is silly, and frankly don’t think it matters.

I more than likely fall into the category, as I do identify with the Reformers. They were right on so many levels. The Church was in dire need of being reformed. They took the church back to Biblical Christianity, a belief in the sovereignty of God, Salvation by grace alone through faith alone, and the authority of the Bible…

I also believe though many of the reformers got it wrong, in relation to the issue of baptism. I believe that historically the Baptists have been right in that area. As well as who exactly the New Covenant is for. Again though, I think this is an issue that has been made a much bigger deal than it should be, and has caused too much division in the church. That is why I am glad to be in a church (Crossmark Church) now that allows for the difference of opinion on which stance on baptism and the New Covenant is correct. We have strong opinions, but ultimately, this isn’t an issue that determines whether or not one is a Christian, and should not divide.

By the way, the book I’m reading, is basically a defense of the Reformed Baptist position, in contrast to the other doctrinal stances within the church. For those of you who are interested, the book again is called, “A Reformed Baptist Manifesto” by Samuel Waldron and Richard C. Barcellos.


Just thinking…

A friend of mine was talking today about one of his biggest issues in his Christian walk is that he still sometimes loves sin more than he does Jesus. I completely understand what he’s saying, and can most certainly identify with him. I think I would word it in a different way though. It probably means basically the same thing, but I think to really deal with the root issue we have to say that sometimes, no, most times…we love ourselves more than we love Jesus. I think sin is really nothing more than us putting ourselves, and our desires, above those of God’s. I think when we word it the way my friend did, we almost…in some sense…are placing the blame on something outside of ourselves. But sin in itself isn’t the problem. The problem is our choosing to sin. The action is an expression of the state of our hearts. The answer doesn’t lie in trying to not sin…but in trying to love God. If we don’t love Him more than we love ourselves…piety doesn’t matter. You could live the most “righteous” life in the history of man…but if your heart isn’t in the right place. Does it really matter?

John the Baptist made a great and very wise statement when he said that he must decrease so that Jesus could increase. I believe he was referring mainly to how he was viewed in the eyes of the people. For us we need to take this statement in how we view ourselves in our own minds. There is a great line in a popular Christian song that I hear quite often, it says, “rid me of myself” and “lead me to the cross”. I believe this ought to be our prayer.

Just thinking….