Baptist is Not a Denomination – Baptist, Not a Denomination – Written by RobertPatenaude
Baptist, Not a Denomination – There is no such thing as “THE” Baptist Church, in the sense of a universal (worldwide), continental, national, regional, or otherwise “church.” We sometimes hear people say, “Oh, he belongs to the Baptist church,” in a denominational sense as if there exists a centralized earthly hierarchy and earthly headquarters. Biblically and properly, nothing of the kind exists. Biblically and properly, there are only autonomous local churches. Baptist, Not a Denomination
Baptist, Not a Denomination – We realize that over the past two hundred years, especially, many local Baptist churches, and localized fellowships and associations of churches, have very unfortunately been led (sometimes coerced) to tighten and expand into huge organizations with presidents, secretaries, and supra-church board members, and other officers, creating hierarchies and seats of power (headquarters). Then they have put the name Baptist on the entire apparatus: “Such and Such Baptist Convention,” or “This and That Baptist Association,” and so forth. This has led the world, in general, into thinking that all Baptist churches are connected to each other in the same way as United Methodists churches, Missouri Synod Lutherans, or even Catholic churches are. And worse, many Baptist congregations have allowed a denominational mindset to prevail, have ceded away and surrendered their autonomy, and have acquiesced to a hierarchy of individuals determining their order, their finances, their missions outreach procedures, and often their property ownership. In reality, these churches have ceased to be New Testament in the doctrinal sense and have ceased to be Baptist in the historical and distinctive sense.
Baptists are NOT Baptist by denomination.
Baptists are Baptists by a sense of History.
Baptists are Baptists by a sense of Heritage.
Baptists are Baptists by a sense of certain distinctions (distinctive characteristics).
If you are looking for a New Testament church, locate one that maintains its autonomy strictly, and therefore is unaffiliated and independent. And we will discuss the other distinctions for which you should look later as the Lord leads.