It was Sunday morning and a mother and her six-year-old daughter were sitting in church. The mom opened up her Bible and put it on her lap. The first-grader noticed the book and said to her mother, “Did God really write all that?” The mom said, “Yes, He did, every word.” And the little girl astonished said, “Wow, he really has neat handwriting!”
One of the foundations of Baptist polity (way of doing things) is that the Bible and the Bible alone is our sole authority for what we do. This means, among other things, that where God speaks we speak and where God doesn’t speak we don’t speak. But human nature being what it is, even Baptist pastors have a hard time confining themselves to just what God says. (I try not to follow that temptation.) Let me illustrate:
Church Attendance – The command in the Bible for church attendance is found in Hebrews 10:25, Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is… In other words, God instructs us that Christians are to get together for worship. But He does not give us specifics: the day, the place, the time, the way, the number, etc. God just says, – make sure you get yourselves together on a regular basis.
However, there are Baptist pastors who teach that Hebrews 10:25 means: Sunday at 10:00, 11:00, 7:00 plus Wednesday at 7:00. And to do anything less is to be backslidden. Now I believe that the more we can get together for church the better for us, but to say that Hebrews 10:25 means it has to be four times a week is to go where God has not gone re attendance.
Christian Marriage – The command in the Bible for Christian marriage is found in I Corinthians 6:14, Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? In other words, God instructs us that a Christian is to marry a believer, not an un-believer. But He does not give us specifics as to what kind of believer he or she is to be. God just says – make sure the one you wed is a born-again believer.
However, there are Baptist pastors who teach that I Corinthians 6:14 means you must only marry saved people who are of the: same views, same affiliation, same maturity, etc. And to do anything less is to be disobedient. Now I believe it is very wise to marry someone who is spiritually as you are, but to say that I Corinthians 6:14 means you must only wed an individual who is an exact spiritual carbon-copy of yourself, is to go where God has not gone re marriage.
Current Songs – The command in the Bible for current songs is found in Ephesians 6:19, Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs… In other words, God instructs us that Christians are to sing a variety of music: psalms (Father), hymns (Son) and songs (Spirit). But He does not give us any specifics about the song writers themselves. God just says – make sure you sing this kind of music.
However, there are Baptist pastors who teach that Ephesians 6:19 means song writers must meet the same list of spiritual requirements as pastors, deacons and deacon’s wives (for I Timothy 3 says – a pastor must be…, a deacon must be…, a deacon’s wife must be…). And so to sing a song of any writer who does not meet these criteria is to be a compromiser. However, nowhere in the Bible does it say, “A song-writer must be…”. Now I believe in choosing songs that are conservative in both message and melody, but to say that Ephesians 6:14 means musicians must be held to the same standards as that of pastors and deacons, is to go where God has not gone re music.
✓Note – I am glad for the above, because otherwise we would have to take a lot of hymns out of our hymnal.
The bottom line? I know at Wingham we do some things a little differently than many other independent, fundamental Baptists do. But I wanted you to understand why we are as we are. It is because your Baptist pastor tries to only say (Thus saith the Lord…) when it actually says (Thus saith the Lord…). And to do otherwise, is to go places where God has not gone.
● B – Biblical Authority
● A – Autonomy Of The Local Church
● P – Priesthood Of The Believer
● T – Two Offices, Pastor & Deacon
● I – Individual Soul Liberty
● S – Separation Of Church And State
● T – Two Ordinances, Baptism And Communion
● S – Separation From The World