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What is a Baptist church?

David Young

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In discussing with you Orthodox over the years on this forum, I have noticed some impressions of what we Baptists are that I don't identify with at all, though I dare say your impressions have been correctly derived from some churches you have known. I have made a 12½ minute video which explains some of the ways a Baptist church differs in belief or practice from other Christian churches, not to persuade you all to become Baptists, but to promote mutual understanding and respect. Maybe it will lead to some helpful discussion here.
https://youtu.be/BBjlzz_fogQ
 

Alpo2

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Thanks for posting that. I know very little of Baptists but I'm quite familiar with (Finnish strain of) Pentecostalism and I've always assumed that Baptists are more or less the same. Would you say the same?
 

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Southern congregational denomination that preaches the Bible.
 

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David Young said:
In discussing with you Orthodox over the years on this forum, I have noticed some impressions of what we Baptists are that I don't identify with at all,
That’s because you don’t live in the U.S. South.  :)
Thanks for posting the video; I’ll take a look when I get a minute.
 

noahzarc1

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Thank you for the video. I very much enjoyed watching it. If all baptists ministered in the manner in which you did here in this video, there would definitely be better understanding between people of different faiths. I left the Catholic Church in 1994-95 and returned in 2015. In the 20 years I was out, save for about 3 years I spent in a Pentecostal church, I spent about 18 years all in Baptist churches. I became intimately familiar with the structure and government of small and large baptist churches. I still have many beloved people in my life from my time in Baptist churches and because of them I have a true appreciation for the Word of God and an appreciation for how much they love the Lord Jesus Christ. As this op is not about a discussion about differences, I would just conclude that unfortunately not all baptists share the desire to be as charitable as you were in this video with others outside the Baptist fold. However, I would be remiss to say it is Baptists alone guilty of that. We can all learn to listen to others as they speak, work to find our common ground and where necessary answer the points of concerns in love to those truly inquiring or seeking an answer.
 

David Young

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Alpo2 said:
I'm quite familiar with (Finnish strain of) Pentecostalism and I've always assumed that Baptists are more or less the same. Would you say the same?
Yes, they are very similar. In a charismatic Baptist church, or a quiet Pentecostal church, it might be hard to guess which you were in; though of course all Pentecostals believe in the continuation of the gifts of the Spirit, and most give them a lot more prominence than those Baptists who also believe in them. Not all individual Pentecostal churches are autonomous: there are different systems of church government between different Pentecostal denominations, such as (over here in Britain) Elim, Assemblies of God, and the Apostolic Church.
 

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I could probably listen to you speaking all day long independently of the subject.

David Young said:
Alpo2 said:
I'm quite familiar with (Finnish strain of) Pentecostalism and I've always assumed that Baptists are more or less the same. Would you say the same?
Yes, they are very similar. In a charismatic Baptist church, or a quiet Pentecostal church, it might be hard to guess which you were in; though of course all Pentecostals believe in the continuation of the gifts of the Spirit, and most give them a lot more prominence than those Baptists who also believe in them. Not all individual Pentecostal churches are autonomous: there are different systems of church government between different Pentecostal denominations, such as (over here in Britain) Elim, Assemblies of God, and the Apostolic Church.
Here in Brazil they're just very rarely autonomous.
 

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David Young said:
In discussing with you Orthodox over the years on this forum, I have noticed some impressions of what we Baptists are that I don't identify with at all, though I dare say your impressions have been correctly derived from some churches you have known. I have made a 12½ minute video which explains some of the ways a Baptist church differs in belief or practice from other Christian churches, not to persuade you all to become Baptists, but to promote mutual understanding and respect. Maybe it will lead to some helpful discussion here.
https://youtu.be/BBjlzz_fogQ
Reverend, your video is a delight.

I would love to see a full length video of an entire worship service at your church.  Are you going to be resuming limited services now that the Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson is easing the (by US and Swedish standards) very severe lockdown?

Also, have any Baptist Churches ever done BBC Choral Vespers?  That Radio 3 program is basically the same as Choral Evensong, but the name changes when instead of Anglicans, its the Orthodox or Roman Catholics.  The Church of Scotland has also been featured; the one time I heard them, they used an Evening Prayer service which sounded almost identical to Choral Evensong when the Scottish Episcopal Church performs it; I can’t recall if they call it Choral Evensong or Choral Vespers under those conditions.  I have heard the British Methodists are sometimes on Choral Vespers; I am nor sure about the United Reformed Church.  As for the Anglicans on Choral Evensong, its largely the Church of England, with the Church of Wales, the Church of Ireland and the Scottish Episcopal churches appearing frequently, and other Anglican provinces like South Africa, the Archdiocese of Sydney, and fairly frequently, the Episcopal Church USA.

I really love vesperal services; worshipping at night is special. 

Due to reduced access to worship during the virus, the channel on YouTube, The Archive Of Recorded Church Music, which has a vast collection of recordings of Choral Evensong and Choral Vespers, has been invaluable.  I have combined it with some other recordings in this playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9fWQV-4LZFdEyA332uqp5Cudak1833ef

Sadly I have not found any Choral Vespers recordings of the Orthodox, but these do exist.

The reason why I think a Baptist Choral Evensong perhaps hosted by yourself would be so lovely would be a much more congregational sound, more hymns of the Chorale type, and probably longer and better connected scripture lessons and Psalms (because the Anglican Divine Office Psalter operates on a monthly cycle and the Divine Office lectionary operates on an annual or biennial cycle; thus except on Holy Days when the Psalms and lessons of Morning and Evening Prayer are written to correspond with each other and the lessons from Holy Communion.  But a Baptist vespers service would have the freedom to do what, due to poor integration of the four separate lectionary systems in the BCP (only two of which, the Divine Office on holy days and the Holy Communion Collecf/Epistle/Gospel, are elegantly integrated so as to provide a common theme connecting the Gospel and Epistle; sometimes this commonality exists in Morning or Evening Prayer, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes Evensong lessons are logically related to earlier lessons from Mattins, but this diesn’t do BBC Choral Evensong listeners any good at all because BBC Choral Mattins last aired, I think, in 2012, and also historically was a Sunday program rather than a Wednesday program.  But a Baptist vespers could instead use carefully selected hymns, psalms and lessons on a specific theme,

* As of the latest very minor tweak to the 1662 BCP, an adjustment to the lectionary presumably in preparation for the sadly unauthorized, vastly superior 1928 Deposited Book, which was to replace the 1662 BCP, and is one of my four favorite BCP editions (the others being the 1928 American book, the 1929 Scottish Book and the 1938 Melanesian Book; the 1962 Canadian Book and the 1979 American Book, especially the traditional language Anglican Service Book (traditional language adaptations of the 1979 BCP are expressly authorized for use by a rubric; also all Episcopal BCP editions have been released into the Public Domain, whereas the feeble 20h19 ACNA BCP was not.

** I think a Baptist Worship Book modeled on the 1964/65 Methodist Episcopal (American Methodist, ore-UMC merger) could be very handy; this book is a companion to the Book of Hymns published at the same time; like a Trebnik, it is filled with prayers for all sorts of public and private occasions, including such rarely used services as a Prayer for the Space Age, A Prayer for Nuclear Power, and Dedication Services for new Universities and Hospitals, as the Methodist Episcopal Church was still actively buildiing universities and power plants; like a Sluzhbenik it has orders of worship, including one from John Wesley’s condensed BCP, the Sunday Service Book for North America, and like a Menaion or the Triodion and Pentecostarion, it has vast resources for the different liturgical seasons, namely Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Eastertide, Pentecost and Kingdomtide***, holy days like Christmas, Epiphany, Palm Sunday, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Reformation Sunday, and also most other Holy Days observed in the 1892 Episcopal BCP, as well as public holidays like July 4 and Thanksgiving.  What it lacks is anything like our Orthodox Typikon or the rubrics of the BCP; it is entirely non-prescriptive and encourages ex tempore prayer in the Wesleyan tradition.
 

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Alpha60 said:
I would love to see a full length video of an entire worship service at your church.  Are you going to be resuming limited services now that the Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson is easing the (by US and Swedish standards) very severe lockdown?
I don't know the answer to this. At present public worship of all religions is forbidden. I have no idea when that restriction will be lifted.

Also, have any Baptist Churches ever done BBC Choral Vespers?
Again, not that I know of. So I'm sorry, I haven't been much help on this, but I wish you well in your search for such broadcasts.

 

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RaphaCam said:
I could probably listen to you speaking all day long independently of the subject.
No problem!  :) There are 30 recordings of me preaching, and one of me speaking aboutThe Lord of the Rings on website www.primitivemethodism.com, and 21 videos made by me on YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDLPn013YL_eSv95uqhV-rg. Enjoy!
 

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The video is a good representation of the denomination in general. 
And my experience may be a cultural issue (probably), but in my time with the SBC, I learned that Episcopalians were suspect, Catholics were unChristian, and Orthodoxy is a cult.  One person in particular visited the Holy Land and said the site of Christ’s burial had been taken over by some cult — or something similarly offensive.  Also, a YEC stance is a veritable test of orthodoxy for them.  If your people are more conciliatory, pastor, then praise God.
 

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Ainnir said:
The video is a good representation of the denomination in general. 
And my experience may be a cultural issue (probably), but in my time with the SBC, I learned that Episcopalians were suspect, Catholics were unChristian, and Orthodoxy is a cult. 
Yes and it is unfortunate thinking back. I truly came to love the family of Baptists who first really were the ones to lead me away from the Catholic Church. The pastor (now deceased) used to always tell me "the more you read the Bible the harder it will be for you to stay Catholic" and then he'd often spend time explaining to my why Catholicism was wrong. Funny, after 20 years of studying the Bible and being in Baptist churches that's what led me back to Catholicism. The pastor's daughter still writes to me. I've been desiring to explain to her my decisions to return to the Catholic Church, but some days I wonder why start an argument? I'm leaning towards writing and finally explaining it to them anyway.

If your people are more conciliatory, pastor, then praise God.
Amen!
 

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RaphaCam said:
.
Here in Brazil they're just very rarely autonomous.
In Finland they are always autonomous. There's a country-wide Pentecostal denomination too but IIRC it's relatively recent and individual parishes within it are still autonomous. They are militantly against anything that might resemble authority over individual local parish.
 

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noahzarc1 said:
The pastor (now deceased) used to always tell me "the more you read the Bible the harder it will be for you to stay Catholic" and then he'd often spend time explaining to my why Catholicism was wrong. Funny, after 20 years of studying the Bible and being in Baptist churches that's what led me back to Catholicism.
It was about 10 years, but that’s essentially what led me to Orthodoxy.
 

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Thank you for your comments. I shall quote noahzarc1 and Alpha60 (by user name - plus Catholic and Orthodox respectively) on my website encouraging others to visit my YouTube channel. God bless you all:

- Reverend, your video is a delight. – Alpha60 (Orthodox)
- Thank you for the video. I very much enjoyed watching it. Noahzarc1 (Catholic)
 
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