Announcing: Baptist Distinctives Week

For the next week (or so) at SFL, we’ll be exploring the “Baptist Distinctives” as typically implemented in fundamentalist churches. In case you need a refresher as to what the Baptist Distinctives are, here’s a handy acronym.

B Biblical Authority
A Autonomy of the Local Church
P Priesthood of the Believers
T Two Ordinances of the Church
I Individual Soul Liberty
S Saved and Baptized Church Membership
T Two Offices of the Church
S Separation Ethically and Ecclesiastically

Now since there are 8 items, I’ll either end up combining some of them, writing more than one post per day or running this “week” for longer than the typical 6 days of post. I haven’t decided yet. I’m just going to let it sneak up on me.

72 thoughts on “Announcing: Baptist Distinctives Week”

    1. Yes, this is the one I knew. I’m proud to say I no longer remember what the letters mean.

      1. For those of us that don’t know Maranatha’s list, (and apparently those who have forgotten too), mind posting what that stands for?

        1. Nice. Now I’m sorry I asked. Forgot the Baptists believe in “2 swords” separation of church & state. You wouldn’t know it for all the protesting the laity I’ve been around do complaining that there shouldn’t be a separation of church & state.

        2. *Baptists* came up with the separation of church and state???? Where do they come up with that? Seriously, where? Which of the founding fathers was Baptist?

        3. Who knew, right? I haven’t ever heard a fundy claim Gutenberg was a fundy, but I feel like there have be fundies out there claiming it was baptists that invented the printing press!

        4. I’m guessing it’s because Thomas Jefferson wrote the letter in which he mentions “separation of church and state” to a Baptist church – I want to say the Danville Baptists, but I don’t remember and I don’t want to look it up; they were concerned about the government’s imposition on religion. For example, Massachusetts had a bad record historically of how they treated Baptists (as well as other “dissenters” like Quakers).

        5. Roger Williams may have been a proponent, but Martin Luther 100 years earlier or so is credited with developing the 2 swords/2 kingdoms theology as part of undermining the church’s authority.

  1. Baptist Distinctives…. Love Christ with all your heart is missing….

    Love Baptist and all thier revisionist history- Score!

  2. Darrell, may I suggest putting a disclaimer under that list that says, “May cause nausea, twitches, and chills”?

    Just a suggestion. 😉 😉 😉

  3. For some Baptist churches…

    “A” is really Allegiance to the bible college

    “T” is really Three ordinances (baptism, communion, and tithing)

    1. Yeah, our church was pretty much there to funnel money and send its future to BJU. Have I mentioned that it was a cult? Cause it was.

  4. I stopped being a Baptist when I realized I could hold to any or all of the Baptist distinctives without calling myself a Baptist.

    It’s all about having a name.

    1. I know I got nervous when I saw the title because I still believe in these (maybe not the two offices because we’re going to an elder-run church), but then I read “as typically implemented in fundamentalist churches.” Now that’s another thing altogether! So I’m interested in seeing where this one goes.

      (I don’t remember the final S – Separation – the last time our Sunday School class studied this, but I might have just forgotten.)

    1. It looks a little bit like he’s trying to get away from the swamp-like black hole in the Bible that the pastor is pushing someone into. “Not me! Get me outta here!” Spurgeon’s altar rail looks a little bit like a large anaconda headed into the swamp.

  5. Individual soul liberty? Really? Fundy Baptists actually put that one down? Why? Which of them actually believe or allow anyone to pracice that distinctive in their church?

  6. The “unknown” person burning at the stake couldn’t be depicting Michael Servetus, could it?

    1. Greg, I’d guess it was Tyndale. I don’t suspect the average IFB knows who Servetus was.

    2. Many start with Jan Hus who was burned at the stake in 1415. Tyndale was strangled and then burned (1535). Michael Servetus was denounced by both Luther and Calvin. Calvin wanted him beheaded rather than burned but the town council overruled Calvin’s request and the sentence of burning at the stake remained (1553).

  7. P Priesthood of the Believers?? 🙄 This was totally void at the extremist churches I was involved in. Here is a little nugget from a kool aid drinker, reminds me of Camp Meeting Girl

    “Preacher said God’s anointed are today’s preachers like Elijah in OT. He says we are to obey him according to Bible because he has rule over us and watches for our souls. He has insight from God as a pastor that you and I do not have and he told us God reveals to him things to direct the church and we just need to follow and obey him or face terrible things from God. He tells stories of people who did not listen to him and how God punished them. Many have been killed and lives ruined and they are no longer in good churches either. A wolf in sheep clothes would not be so close to God like that. “

    1. One day, I had enough of the crowd that likes to scream “touch not God’s anointed”, and went to the King Jimmy to find out exactly who the anointed really were. Let’s just say… the King Jimmy can’t be used to defend their view to someone who actually read it. 😀

    2. The church I grew up in taught that the “Priesthood of the Believer” meant that individual believers could pray directly to God without any mediator but Christ Jesus. It didn’t mean the layman had any special authority or spiritual power, it just made us feel superior to the Catholics for not praying to saints or going to Confession.

  8. Spurgeon was a reformed baptist, so he shouldn’t get thrown in the mix with Sunday and Finney.

    His theology was radically different than the man-worshipping fundies who claim to love him.

    1. Not if you’ve read reprints of his sermons in the SOTL and other fundy publications, where his Calvinism is mysteriously absent.

  9. I took Baptist History at BJU with Dr. Beale. The textbook, naturally, was “SBC: House of the Sand?”, and I remember the words “apostasy” and “apostate” being used with hilarious regularity in the lectures. 🙂

  10. Is this a Friday challenge? No? Well, too bad, cause I made one too:

    Black Baptists- not sure what they are, but they ain’t like us.
    American Baptists- Twice the children of hell as the SBC
    Papists are the WORST (also: “Popery”, “popishness” &c.)
    T. It’s “Mr. T.”, not “Fr. T.”
    In King James we Trust
    Southern Baptists- Half the children of hell as American Baptists
    There are two types of people: IFB, and masonic romanish new age wiccan gay satanists
    Stop. And let me tell you. what the Lord hath done for me.

    1. I thought,
      G.A.R.B = Grand Association of Rebelious Baptists
      A.B.C. = Angry Baptist Complainers
      I.F.B.C = Idiotic Followers of Baptist Charletins

  11. If the evangelist pictured above is supposed to be Billy Sunday, someone needs to be reminded that Sunday was not a Baptist. He was an ordained Presbyterian minister. He wasn’t an ecclesiastical separatist, either.

    I would also add that while IFBs pay lip service to the historic Baptist concept of soul liberty, they don’t have a clue what it means. If they did, they’d brand Roger Williams as a liberal apostate.

    1. Hey, about Roger Williams, I know an authority on Baptist history who tells it like it is, when it comes to that nut and Baptist history, in general! He’s Pastor Ryan McGuire, of Bluestone Baptist Church, of Clarkesville, VA! I may have some of the spelling wrong. You’ll find two messages/lessons on Baptist History (My Church and Remembering The Righteous,) on my site! Check them out, for some real Baptist history!

  12. My question is what kind of Baptist? I’m a Calvinistic, Premillenial Dispensationalist, Independent, Separatist, Fundamentalist Baptist.

      1. No I don’t. To believe in all 5 points is believing in false doctrine. I’m a 2.52 Calvinist. I guess you can call me a Calvinistic Arminian.

        There is one more I need to add to the list, King James only.

  13. Baptist history should always be written in quotes: “Baptist” “history”. Same rule applies to “Bible” “college”.

    1. Especially if you’re talking about the Baptist “history” taught in “Bible” “colleges.” My Baptist “history” class at Fundy U was a joke.

  14. I love how I was taught that “Scriptural Authority” is considered “distinctively” Baptist. God knows all those evangelicals are blindly following their super-star, Starbucks-drinking, soulpatch-growing leaders without question. Shame shame. 😈

  15. B – Big Black Bibles (KJVAV1611amen!)

    A – Alliteration

    P – Powerful Prophet-like Preaching from Pulpits of Wood

    T – Tradition Trumps All

    I – Icy Stares when you wear Indecent, Illicit, or unapproved outfits

    S – Separation from the SBC, Andy/Charles Stanley, non-SotL, liberal, non-KJV compromisers. And anybody else we don’t like.

    T – Try the green bean casserole.

    S – Soul winning, Hymn Singing, and *Shouting
    *only during the preaching, and only by men, saved ones, and only approved phrases.

  16. the Unknown Individual burning at the stake would be straight from the cover of the “Flame in the Wind” video cover, yes?

  17. One church I was in somehow wormed “abstinence from the consumption of alcoholic beverages” into the Baptist distinctives. 😯

    My question about how that was more closely related to biblical teaching than it was to historical political positions was never fully addressed…

  18. I grew up with BRAPSISS, which narrows me down to the Maranatha branch of Fundamentalism. I remember learning this and thinking “why are they teaching us things that go against College”? I mean, Soul Liberty? How does this stack up against Bible College Rules, Deans, etc… Or Bible as our only authority, Same question.

    It was actually in learning the Fundamentals of Fundamental Baptists that I realized most Fundy Baptists break their own Fundamentals, if that makes sense. Ironically, it was learning about real Baptist Distinctives (sorry for using it as a noun), that lead me to reform my beliefs.

    Little advice for Fundies. NEVER teach Bible as sole authority, NEVER teach Soul Liberty, NEVER teach Seperation ethically and ecclesiastically from those who fail the first two or you will keep having people who actually learn BRAPSISS leave. 😉

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