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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15


Let Independent Baptists Beware

Norman H. Wells

From The Church That Jesus Loved, 1973 (Conclusion)

Every Baptist preacher, with any understanding of the Scriptures, knows that a Baptist church is supposed to be independent. All Baptist preachers claim to be independent, and will also state that their church is independent.


All Baptists use the words autonomous, sovereign, independent, etc., to describe their churches. The churches of The Southern Baptist Convention, The American Baptist Convention, the Conservative Baptist Association, The Baptist Bible Fellowship, The General Association of Regular Baptists, The World Baptist Fellowship, etc., all claim that their churches are independent. They all recognize that this is what they are supposed to be.


It becomes apparent that for Baptist preachers and Baptist churches to claim to be independent doesn't necessarily make it so! Some, I believe, are deliberately lying!


What is an independent Baptist church? The characteristics are easy to see:


1. An independent Baptist church is a BAPTIST church teaching and preaching all the Bible truths for which Baptists have stood since the days of Christ.


2. An independent Baptist church is not associated with any man-made association, convention or organized fellowship such as The Southern Baptist Convention, The American Baptist Convention, The Baptist Bible Fellowship, The Conservative Baptist Association, The General Association of Regular Baptists, The World Baptist Fellowship, etc.


ANY CHURCH IDENTIFIED WITH ANY OF THESE GROUPS IS NOT AN INDEPENDENT BAPTIST CHURCH.


3.  An independent Baptist church is a missionary Baptist church endeavoring to carry the good news of the gospel to every creature. It supports church sponsored missionaries directly.


ANY CHURCH THAT DOES ITS MISSION WORK THROUGH A MISSION BOARD IS NOT AN INDEPENDENT BAPTIST CHURCH.


God has abundantly blessed independent Baptist churches. In them rests the hope of this generation.


There is a detestable, dishonest and dishonorable practice being carried on by some so-called Baptist preachers. I am told that some seminaries even encourage their graduates in this practice. These men will learn of an independent Baptist church that is seeking a Pastor and present themselves as an independent Baptist.


The preconceived idea is that if the independent Baptist calls them as Pastor they will then proceed to try and lead the church into a convention, association or organized fellowship. Subtly they will begin encouraging support of missionaries sent out by Mission Boards and will drop the truly independent Baptist missionaries. They will specialize in indoctrinating the young people with the idea that the church should identify with some organization.


This is a free country. If a Baptist wants to identify with a Convention, Association, or Fellowship -that's his business. However, to deliberately deceive a church in order to lead it into an association with one of these groups is dishonest and unchristian. Let God's people beware of such wolves!