The Sad Fad of Baptist Defamation

Whether or not you are a Baptist or part of another denomination, you must be able to sense the rise in the “community” church numbers in recent years. The most troubling thing about the rise of these “community” churches does not center upon their doctrine, but it does center upon the choice of their name. Many of the so called “community” churches all across the United States are supporters of the Southern Baptist Convention, but they are unwilling to make that known in their name or on their website. Why is this such a popular trend? Some suggest that it has something to do with the rise in popularity of John MacArthur along with a long list of others who are very closely connected to the SBC in friendship, but are separate in their affiliation. Others suggest that it has to do with the unpopular view of the “Baptist” name in the community. Therefore, the goal of the church is to reach the people with sound doctrine without the focus being upon the “Baptist” name. Is this a needful solution to a bad problem or is this another sad fad that will leave the Baptist denomination suffering greatly in the years to come?Baptist HistoryBaptist people have been standing for right doctrine and practice for many years. One of the most recent stands taken by the SBC was regarding the inerrancy of the Word of God during the Conservative Resurgence. With the current movement of Baptist defamation within the local church (even if the people are affiliated with the Baptist people by way of doctrine and support) – will it bring an end to the denomination over time? Some suggest that it will while others are less willing to weigh in on the debate.Southern Baptist Institutions and Local ChurchesMany institutions and organizations such as Seminaries and local churches bare the name “Baptist.” With the rising popularity of Baptist name dropping, will these other churches and institutions be affected in a negative manner? Will churches and Seminaries (such as The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) be forced to change their names in the future? Will the Southern Baptist Convention as an organization be forced to change its name over time?Questions To Consider:1. When people take money from the SBC in order to organize and plant a local church, should they be forced to bear the Baptist name?2. Should students who choose to attend a local “community” church which is affiliated with the SBC (through monetary giving) be forced to pay higher tuition as do non SBC members?3. Is dropping the Baptist name from the local church while remaining affiliated with the SBC deceitful?4. Is the removal of the Baptist name from the local church the answer to correcting many false assumptions about Baptist people, doctrines, and heritage?5. What about those churches and institutions who choose to keep the name “Baptist” in their name, will they find that over time they are looked upon as a cult or evil group?Conclusion:With the likes of Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist in the news during our day, it is no wonder that many people are confused about Baptist people and our beliefs. However, with these unstable models and improper examples around us, isn’t it much more important to show the community and the rest of society what true Baptist people believe, how we worship, and how we care for our community? It seems strange that many people are buying into the popular trend that dropping the name “Baptist” from the church sign will actually correct the problem. In fact, it seems like it is a decision to ignore the problem as opposed to becoming committed to correcting it. Ultimately our commitment is to Christ and not to the name “Baptist”, but at some point we must be thankful for the Baptist denomination for what it has done over time, how it has been influential in our lives, and we must be willing to help correct superficial problems regarding the Baptist name. If Baptist people will commit to change in specific needful areas while seeking to preach sound biblical doctrine, the name Baptist will some day be returned to a respectful position in our land.For the glory of God!Rev. Josh Buice