- Jim Townsley
- Nov 12, 2013
The earliest Baptists in America were separatists while most other denominations were at best reformers. These Baptist pioneers (separatists) did recognize the evangelistic work of some reformers, but in no way did they seek to incorporate the reformer's methods or doctrines into their churches. It is important to understand our Baptist roots set forth immutable doctrines and sets us apart from all other denominations.
Every young man entering the ministry must be cautious to whom he listens and follows. New Testament Baptist churches must be built upon the same foundation as our historic separatists brethren. Young men beginning in the ministry can listen to the lie that our fundamentalist Baptist churches are no longer current with the times or that they are out of step with the culture. Church planters can be tempted with new methodology and new ideas that do not spring from our fundamental movement and can be dangerous for the future of the church. When drawing water from a well be sure that you draw from the well that has been proven over a long period of time.
Satan tempted Eve with the promise that she and Adam would be like gods and that their eyes would be opened to additional knowledge. "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." - Genesis 3:5 - Eve's intent was good, however Satan deceived Eve with an empty promise of a better life. Similarly, leaders today will promise better results and a better ministry if only their methods are employed. As in the situation of Eve, time will prove that these methods fail to produce their promised results. With this warning in mind every young preacher should take heed to the list of buzz words used to attract unsuspecting young preachers.
These terms and philosophies did not originate from the great fundamental men of the past. Rather, these statements originate from other movements that are not a part of our fundamental circle. Warning!!!! Watch out for these terms!
Worship Team - This term did not originate from the ranks of godly men, but from compromising leaders seeking to appeal to a worldly audience mimicking the world's music.
Purpose driven - This term and its teaching in not based upon Bibles truths. Why would a young preacher want to replicate something from a source known to compromise several Bible principles?
Seeker sensitive - The concept behind this idea is backwards from Bible truth. We must give people the life saving truth, the Word of God, and resist telling them what they want to hear. Giving people what they want is man-centered not God-centered.
Self-esteem - A philosophical term unfortunately endorsed from many pulpits. This word does not belong in a preacher's vocabulary. Those seeking self-esteem will be filled with pride if they ever attain it. The Bible states, "without Him we are nothing."
Relevant Bible teaching - Isn't all the Bible relevant? Unfortunately many of these adherents tend to teach psychology rather than the Word of God.
Grace - This Bible word has been grossly maligned in our society. It has been perverted to mean liberty beyond Bible truth. In other words, if the Bible does not specifically state it then it should have no bearing upon the believer. Many things are not specifically stated in the Bible, especially in the matter of holiness, but Bible principles and godly living still prohibit many activities that offend a holy God.
The sovereignty of God - God is sovereign. However, this word has been redefined to mean something the Bible does not teach. Some aspects of God's dealing's are totally arbitrary and not conditional upon the actions of man. Yet, many aspects of God's workings are conditional upon the actions and decisions of man. The word sovereign does not appear in the Bible and one must be cautious how the term is defined.
Additional terms to scrutinize: build the Kingdom, adult connection groups, exponential thinking, real relationships, authentic, relational, vintage worship, honest dialog, intentionally relational, gospel community, living life together, resurgence, missional. This list is not exhaustive and some of these words are not bad in and of themselves. Sometimes the method itself is the problem even if the terminology is orthodox. The real heart of the issue resides in the source and the intent of the source. Some of the changes consist of removing the name Baptist, removing your tie, and removing your standards of separation but these changes will not produce good fruit.
Building a church requires sacrifice, hard work, fasting, and prayer. There is no shortcut to building God's church. The power of God is needed to change lives. One of the early proponents of the new wave of contemporary methodology admitted this approach had no real lasting impact on people's lives. Don't fall prey to the temptations of new methods that do not originate from the right source. The need of the hour is to start churches, but they must be the right kind of churches.