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


Every Bible-Believing Baptist Should Belong to an Independent Baptist Church

Norman H. Wells

From The Church That Jesus Loved, 1973 (Chapter 14)

What is wrong with an organized Convention, Association or Fellowship of Baptist Churches? SUCH AN ORGANIZATION IS UNSCRIPTURAL! The only organization established and commissioned in the New Testament is the local church. There is not one mention or hint of any other organization. If God had intended for churches to organize themselves into bigger organizations surely He would have given some indication of this in the New Testament.


Search the Bible! A Baptist is supposed to believe and abide by a "thus saith the Lord." By what authority are Conventions, Associations, Fellowships, etc. organized? ONE THING IS SURE ... IT IS NOT BIBLE AUTHORITY. ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS CONVENTIONS, ASSOCIATIONS, FELLOWSHIPS, ETC., ROB GOD OF HIS GLORY.


Man has never been satisfied with God's way. Man has never been satisfied with God's way of salvation because it emphasizes man's helplessness and God's greatness. Man seeks to change God's way of salvation so that it will glorify man. This kind of effort robs God of His glory. Man has never been satisfied with God's plan of living by faith. He seeks to change it so his own efforts and works are emphasized. This robs God of His glory. Man has never been satisfied with God's church and has tried to build something bigger that would glorify man.


The Scripture says, "Unto him be GLORY IN THE CHURCH by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Eph. 3:21) THIS IS THE WAY THAT GOD HAS CHOSEN TO BE GLORIFIED. NO OTHER ORGANIZATION CAN ASSUME THIS RESPONSIBILITY. If other organizations are built to carry on the work of the Lord then God is robbed of His glory.


MAN-MADE ORGANIZATIONS GLORIFY MAN. Take any organization of Baptist churches you please and give them an honest look. It will be seen that this statement is true. MAN-MADE ORGANIZATIONS PRODUCE COMPROMISE.


Compromise! This is one of the great evils of man-made organizations of Baptist churches. In order to keep unity in the organization each church has to practice compromise! Churches within the organization that drift away from distinctive Baptist doctrines cannot be censored. Pastors cannot raise their voice in protest to laxity in Baptist principles and doctrines. Nothing must be done to bring any disruption to the organization. Finally ... anything goes! Everything is tolerated for the sake of the organization. Sound Baptist Churches find themselves identified with the worldliness, modernism, false doctrine, etc., that exists in other churches and helpless to do anything about it!


THESE GROUPS STRIVE TO PRODUCE GREATER LOYALTY TO THE ORGANIZATION THAN TO THE LOCAL CHURCH. Again we challenge you to look at any organized group of Baptist churches and see if this is not true. In some it may not be as advanced as others but it is true in every one.  THE ORGANIZATION COMES FIRST... THE CHURCH SECOND! A pastor that would challenge the organization can be belittled before his own people!


The organization is held up as the only hope of the world. The church is just a minor part. PEOPLE ARE INDOCTRINATED TO BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE A GREATER RESPONSIBILITY TO THE ORGANIZATION THAN TO THE CHURCH. Organizational schools, youth camps, etc. are used to instill into the young a greater loyalty to the organization than to the church.


THESE ORGANIZATIONS TAKE THE GOD-GIVEN RESPONSIBILITIES FROM THE CHURCH AND PLACE THEM IN MAN-MADE ORGANIZATIONS. The organization controls the indoctrinating of the young people. The organization controls the worldwide missionary responsibility. This responsibility is taken from the church and placed in the mission board of the organization. The ownership of schools, mission stations, papers, homes for aged, orphanages, etc., is placed in the organization. The church, instead of being the sovereign, democratic, body that God intended, becomes merely one little voice in a bigger organization that God never authorized.


THESE ORGANIZATIONS HAVE ALWAYS FAILED! The pages of religious history are littered with the wreckage of these man-made organizations. Every one of them follows the same path that step by step leads them to compromise. The amount of organization needed always increases. The bigger the organization, the less important the churches are. The end result is always the same, compromise, apostasy, formality, and finally oblivion! THESE ORGANIZATIONS ALWAYS FAIL…ONLY THE CHURCH LIVES ON! The promise of God is in the church.


CHRISTIANS AND CHURCHES LEARN TO RELY UPON THE ORGANIZATION RATHER THAN UPON GOD. Actually, although surely not deliberately, the Christian and the church are taught to put their trust in the organization rather than in God. THIS IS NOT TOO DIFFICULT TO DO BECAUSE TO BE A PART OF ANY SUCH ORGANIZATION IS TO SAY THAT THE WAY GOD HAS SET DOWN IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED.


GENERALLY, TO BE IDENTIFIED WITH ONE OF THESE GROUPS OF ORGANIZED BAPTISTS LEADS TO BEING IDENTIFIED WITH EVEN LARGER GROUPS; SOMETIMES THEY ARE NOT EVEN BAPTIST. The average layman is not kept informed as to the intricate movements and finances of the organizational machinery. Sometimes they are kept unaware that they are part of such an unscriptural, man-made group!


THESE ORGANIZATIONS WILL EVENTUALLY STEREO-TYPE THEIR PREACHERS AND ROB THEM OF IHEIR INDIVIDUALITY AND INITIATIVE. One of the greatest evils of these organizations is the Idea that THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS. Invariably they will point at their numbers and finances as justification for the unscriptural, man-made machinery.


GREAT CROWDS AND LARGE NUMBERS CAN INDICATE A NUMBER OF THINGS. They could indicate a lack of preaching on sin, judgment and hell. They could indicate a lack of preaching on separation or Christians. They could indicate a substitution of some kind of easy decision for genuine repentance and faith. They could indicate a compromising position on great Bible truths. They could indicate that the church has a good program of entertainment that is attracting the carnal and lost.


Numbers can be an indication of success ... but not always! Now, let us look at the other side!


WHAT IS AN INDEPENDENT BAPTIST CHURCH?


An independent Baptist church believes that the only organization given in the New Testament is the local church. They believe that God has given the church as the means of accomplishing His purpose in this age. An independent Baptist church, therefore, does not affiliate or identify themselves with any organized Convention, Association or Fellowship. An independent Baptist church sends forth its missionaries by the authority of the church and not through an unscriptural Mission Board. These missionaries are supported directly by the churches.


An independent Baptist church cooperates with other Baptist churches in missions, schools, etc. but does so on a voluntary basis and without any unscriptural organization binding the churches together. An independent Baptist church refuses to compromise the historical Baptist doctrines for the sake of popular appeal. An independent Baptist church has to rely upon God and give Him all the glory. True Baptists love the church that Jesus loved and will I not have this love and loyalty switched to some man-made organization.


An independent Baptist church denounces sin and apostasy wherever it is found. Its voice is not silenced by loyalty to some outside organization. An independent Baptist church is not dictated to nor influenced by any head or headquarters except Jesus Christ.


WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT EVERY BIBLE-BELIEVING BAPTIST JOIN AN INDEPENDENT BAPTIST CHURCH? This would bring revival! It would be a return to God! It would bring honor and glory to the name of our God! It would be a return to God's Word and God's Way! WE WILL BE YIELDING OURSELVES TO GOD...FOLLOWING HIS MESSAGE AND HIS METHOD.