MARKS OF A BAPTIST
Some time ago I was invited to join another pastor and one of his church members for breakfast at a nearby cafe. We had a pleasant visit. We discussed various subjects, the nature of which I cannot remember. However, as we were finishing our meal, the pastor asked me a question that caught me off guard, and I am convinced he was not impressed with my answer.
The question was, “What is a Baptist?” My answer was, “one who holds to Baptist beliefs.” I proceeded to tell him of the acrostic used to explain what Baptist believe. B-Born again membership. A-Autonomy of the local church. P-Preservation of the saints. T-Total depravity of the lost. I-Inspiration of the Scriptures. S-Separation of church and state. T-Two ordinances.
However, although I agree with the above, I do not think that was the answer he was after. If a Lutheran is a follower of Martin Luther, one might assume a Baptist would be a follower of John the Baptist. I am aware that there are a few Baptist who believe just that.
The facts will demonstrate that Baptist do not, nor can they follow the Baptist.
1. John was sent to Israel only to prepare them for their Messiah. No Baptist today does that.
2. John’s baptism was accompanied with repentance and confession of sins. No Baptist makes that a requirement.
3. John’s ministry was to prepare a people for their King and earthly Kingdom. That is not the goal of any Baptist today.
4. John’s gospel (good news) was that the King was coming to establish His Kingdom, and repentance and baptism were a requirement to enter it. No Baptist preaches that.
5. John’s ministry and message never contained one word about the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. That is the central theme of Baptist today.
6. Since John knew nothing about the upcoming death of Christ, his gospel must have contained a different message than that of Baptist today.
7. Since John knew nothing of Jesus’ coming death, his baptism must have served a different purpose, and possibly a different mode, then the baptism practiced today,
8. Since John was sent to baptize and Paul was not sent to baptize, there must have been light years between their two ministries.
9. No one claimed to be a follower of John the Baptist, “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:12, isn’t it strange that no one claimed to be a follower of John the Baptist?
So, the best I can do is stick with the acrostic and follow Christ, since it is impossible, and unscriptural to follow John the Baptist.
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.