WHY THERE IS NO BAPTIST CHURCH
By Ken Blue
Recently a family took a two week vacation, traveling across the country to visit sites of interest. They were faithful in church attendance each Sunday and sought out a Baptist Church whenever possible. The wife said to her pastor, “Pastor, I was so disappointed. It was almost impossible to find a ‘Baptist Church that looked Baptist.’”
Her response echoes the thoughts of many who believe churches must look like other baptist churches to be considered Baptist. She was not speaking of the physical configuration of the buildings. What she meant was every Baptist Church was different and none were like her home church.
There is no such thing as the Baptist Church. There are only Baptist Churches, and every one of them is independent and autonomous.
This is the mentality of many. They have in their mind that the Baptist Church is God’s favorite and that each one should be a carbon copy of their own. Once a group of churches form a close net fellowship, the next move is for a leader to arise and begin teaching how the other churches must look and believe. What many have forgotten is that there is no Baptist Church. There is a Catholic Church, a Presbyterian Church, a Lutheran Church; But, there is no such thing as the Baptist Church. There are only Baptist Churches, and every one of them is independent and autonomous.
The reason some are so critical of other churches, is because they have a mental picture of what a Baptist Church must look. Of course, they think it should look somewhat like theirs, or it isn’t truly a Baptist Church. Perhaps the reader could give us, from the Pastoral Epistles, a clear picture of what a Baptist Church looks like; then we could all conform to their image. Until then, each pastor should pastor his own church and wait for the picture.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.
Kelly Backstrom says
Great Post! I really wonder if we had just gotten saved and picked up a bible (without anyones help, but God) and began to look at the church in Acts and the Epistles (and without our american church traditions and our american church history) and we went out and built a church the way we see it in the bible what would it look like? I am guessing it would be pretty cool! And quite possibly very different from what we think church should be…
Joel Hudson says
It is funny you mentioned this, I was talking to a man from Maranatha the other day who wants to plant a church in our community. I was very excited, when I asked why this town, his response was that no one was planting the right kind of church. What he meant as I soon discovered was that no one was planting a church like Maranatha.