The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
From a number of quarters (even “Baptist”) the use of the name Baptist is being assailed. There are a number of reasons put forth for this, for example:
1. The New Testament churches were not actually referred to as “Baptist” churches.
2. “Denominations are abominations”
3. Some modern day Baptists have gone off the rails into modernism, etc. tarnishing the name Baptist.
The general opinion is that true New Testament churches need not refer to themselves as “Baptist Churches” but simply as “Churches” e.g.. Grace Church Community Church, etc. The word “Baptistic” is often mentioned. There are three reasons why we should use the term “Baptist” and that proudly.
The word “Baptist” is a New Testament word. It is used 15 times in the Bible and is a descriptive word. John was called a Baptist before he began baptizing (Matt. 3:1).
John the Baptist was the first gospel preacher (Mark 1:1, 2; Luke 16:16). Baptists today preach the same gospel of repentance (Matt. 3:8) and faith (John 1:29) as John, and practice the same baptism of immersion (John 3:23) of believers (Matt. 3:6,8) symbolically presenting the gospel of Christ (John 1:31). John’s baptism was never repudiated or altered after the Lord established His Church (Acts 1:22).
Some point out that the terms “Church of God” and “Churches of Christ” are also Biblical. True, but these are terms of possession and thus more general. The word Baptist is descriptive, filled with meaning. It says something.
Baptists claim a thrilling history — one written in blood, but one never stained with the blood of others. Baptist history is the history of a belief and certain Bible principles. For many historical reasons, it is an honorable name. Because a few Baptists have ceased to be Baptist because of modernism it is no justification for discontinuing the use of the name by many.
“I believe that we came from the pierced hands of Christ; and the gates of Hell have not, nor ever shall prevail against it. At times its witness has been almost drowned in blood. Days without end its life seemed to perish in the flames. Its scattered flock suffered no less than its martyred pastors. But it lived. It lives today. It will always live, this loved church of the Lord, these people called Baptist.” W. A. Criswell.
It is not practical, especially in these ecumenical days of religious togetherness, to attempt being a Baptist in principle, but not in name. We are taught in Scripture that in these last days of spiritual decay to earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 3).
Almost everybody claims to be a Christian and in these days that could mean anything. Labels tell the difference between medicine and poison. Flags identify ships at sea. Brands distinguish cheap products from the real thing.
If a Baptist Church accepts a “no-namer” or “another namer” into its membership, it will experience difficulties in maintaining consistency.