“But By The Grace Of God I am What I am…” (1 Corinthians 15:10a.)
We have been around the people of God and in churches long enoung to have observed much. I have spent time in Missionary Baptist Churches, Independent Baptist Churches, Baptist Churches, Black Churches, Christian Churches, Non denomination churches, Pentacostal Churches, etc.
One of the observations I have made is that in many of these churches they have more in common with each other and the church denomination than they do with Scripture. We will now share some of these observations (DV). These observations will be general than specific. We will keep our observations to the independent baptist churches in general, than of each type.
In the independent Baptist church they tend to be associated with an independent Baptist College, they are KJV only and frown on any other version and anyone that uses a different version. They tend to be “cookie cutter” in appearance, IE. Clothing, hair style, standards. Such standards as entertainment options like music, movies, games, television, etc. Their music options are limited to a certain type of Chritian music, In most churches movies are forbidden, games are limited, and television options are limited if allowed at all. Re: the King James Version, some will consider you lost if you use any other version. Some Indep. churches will even call themselves “King James Bible Baptist Church.”
A word concerning the standards listed above. If these are adopted because thay are a personal choice and not forced that is fine. However, if these are standards that have been adopted due to peer pressure that is problematic. We have certain personal standards that we have adopted over the years. These are personal and we due not seek to impose them on others.
Some of our personal standard are these: We do not where shirts that advertize for teams, stores, persons, fictional or real. We do not advertise for political candidates, movies, etc. Our persoal view on this is that we have been purchases by Another and He Alone do we advertize for. Again this is a personal choice and is not pushed on others.
Standards concerning our preaching, We do not preach the same message twice as this limits the Spirit as well as limits our dependence upon Him. We leave ourself open to His Influence. We cannot tell you how many times the Sunday message has been changed before service time or in the middle of preaching. Also, we do not preach Chistmas or Easter messages on those days, lest the Spirit directs us. To us it seems contrary to the Spirits working to give the same sermon topic to every preachers worldwide at the same time. Again these are personal views and personal standars and are not meant to be forced upon others.
Other personal views concerning preaching: We do not spend a week preparing for Sunday. We know others ministers that will spend Monday -Sunday morning preparing, we know another that spends Wednesday thru Sunday morning preparing. We know another that will spend Saturday evening preparing. Before you think this man ill prepared, let me give you his name. His Name? Charles Haddon Spurgeon!!! Martyn Lloyd Jones will pray for (20) minutes from the pulpit before beginning a sermon as He awaits the anointing or the unction. Personally, I study all week on different topics, I study a book or two throughout the week, I pray without ceasing and then I begin planning for the sermon when God gives it and this may not be until I am in the pulpit. My method of prep is simply meditating over that which God has given me and praying over it. You see then, there are different ways of preparing and each man of God has his. One preachers prep would not suit another but it suits him.
In the independent Baptist Church, the majority of ministers prepare in the same way as others. They prepare as they have been shown or taught. It is anything but independent as are their standard anything but independent. To be fair, however. I do not know the philosophy of the cookie cutter, but let me say a good word concerning this philosophy.
I will use the world of franchising as an analogy. In the world of franchising, each independent franchisee is taught to do things in an identical way that all other franchisees are taught to do things or procedures. However, once the franchisee is on their own they may adopt different methods but the original methods are still known. This is true of cookie cutter schooling. An example, We knew a good man that “believed” leather to be a sign of rebellion. After a number of years post schooling, he wears a leather. This is not hypocrisy, this is growth. We know another, not from a school, that saw Christmas as pagan and he warred against it and used it as a standard for others. Today, he does Christmas. This is not Hypocrisy, this is growth.
I think their is a dynamic in these Independent Baptist colleges and churches that disallow them from having an open mind. Their is the danger of thinking everyone else is bad. However, when these students get out into the world and meet other believers that think differently on the secondary issues, the graduate finds things to be different.
One of the great dangers concerning pushing one’s standards on others is the snowball effect. For instance, Let’s say I begin pushing my personal standard of not advertizing for anyone but Christ in my apparel. Others, no doubt, would adopt this view. Some of the persons that adopt this view will enforce it upon their family. Some of those who adopt this view will begin to use it as a standard of others spirituality. Now members in the church will feel pressured to adopt this view and will give away some of their liberties. Sooner or later someone will teach on the truth that Christ-ians are bought with the great price of Christ’s blood and we are not our own and advertizing for another will find it’s place in this teaching. Now, not advertizing for anyone but Christ id doctine!!!
This is how women in pants = Sin came about. This is how movies = Sin came about. This is how only certain types of Christ-ian movies came about and other types of Christ-ian music = sin came about,etc. Did you know that “Amazing Grace” was contemporary once?
A word on the KJV.
The use of the KJV is a personal choice for me. we use it because we believe it is the preserved Word of God for He promised to preserve His Word. we find it to be the best Bible to study from. We use it because it is the best and not because of what some think about Wescott and Hort, or the urban legends associated with it. We do use other versions for comparison. We find the Amplified most helpful, the ESV can be useful as is the NASV. We use a parallel Bible that has been of tremendous use. But the KJV stands alone in its accuracy, its pedigree is second to none.
There are those as I have mentioned that are KJV only and it is not a secondary issue with them. It is an issue to war over, and it is a standard they use to judge others by. (3) (7) seven questions I would ask them, even though the KJV is a personal choice with me.
1. Can A person be saved out of other versions, even the NIV?
2. Are tracts inspired?
3. Does God use tracts?
4. Did not God use a Baalam’s Ass?
5. Then Cannot God use anything and any version?
6. Is God limited by different versions?
7. Does not God use the foolish, weak, and base of this world?
Again, allow me to be clear, We are KJV by personal choice but not by the influence or judgement of others. We are in no way trying to get others to cease their use of the KJV. We are simply asking why do you use it?