I see this morning several people have visited this blog from the new blog for young Baptists in Texas. Welcome newbies. Stay classy and Thanks for stopping by.
Our Wednesday night prayer group is starting a study this week on “What Baptists Believe” I have a wonderful Texas baptist book put out by Baptistway which gives us some good insight on what Texas Baptists believe and how we do church. But Baptist polity is much broader than our state and region and I will ATTEMPT to bring this out during the course of the study.
Almost all the blogs that focus on things Baptist are full of fighting and bickering and political maneuvering. I will not jump into this, but I will attempt each week during our Wednesday night study to write some reflections on what it means for me to be a Baptist and would love some dialogue with any and all of you on why in the world you choose to be a Baptist. That is what our study will be tonight, just telling the stories of why we choose to be Baptists (disclaimer: The reason, “Because my spouse is” doesn’t cut it)
I also am going to do a bit of early Baptist History. Here is what I thought to be an interesting quiz on some Baptists throughout our history.
For you young un’s who come across this, know that my wife ridiculed me mercilessly for being so excited about finding this. I realize I am not cool. I accept this but think this quiz is neat anyway.
For example, did you know……a Baptist pastor established the first form of governance in America that provided complete religious freedom for all
…the first Baptist missionaries from America were not Baptists when they set sail for the mission field but became Baptists on the way to the mission field
…the first Baptist pastor in England was imprisoned by King James I (of King James Bible fame) for insisting that all persons should have freedom to worship
…the first elected president of the Republic of Texas became an outstanding Texas Baptist layman
…some of the earliest Baptists practiced baptism by pouring and not by immersion but soon determined that the Bible taught immersion is the correct way to baptize
…some early Baptists in America were publicly whipped for including singing in a worship service because such singing was viewed as unspiritual and unbiblical
…the first Baptist missionary from the United States to another country was an African-American who had been a slave
…a Baptist pastor from Texas preached a sermon from the steps of the United States Capitol in Washington D. C. on religious liberty
…a Baptist pastor in Virginia met with James Madison to encourage an amendment to the Constitution of the United States guaranteeing freedom of religion
…the best known evangelist in the world is a Baptist whose church membership is in Texas
…that the first person baptized in the Gulf of Mexico as a Baptist when Texas was still an independent nation founded a major milk company
…that a former President of the United States of America and a Nobel Prize recipient is a Baptist layman Sunday School teacher
…that a generous Baptist businessman was the first to develop an effective process for pasteurizing cheese
…that the author of the widely used devotional book My Utmost for His Highest was a Baptist from a devout Baptist family, his father and brother being Baptist pastors
These “did you know” statements are interesting (there will be more information on them in subsequent articles in this series) but they do not indicate what beliefs and practices characterize Baptists. If someone were to ask you, “What is the one thing that distinguishes Baptists from other Christian denominations?” what would your answer be? Or if you were asked, “What difference does it make being a Baptist Christian?” what would you say? In the coming weeks, this series of articles will explore such questions.
If you dare, propose some answers to some of these questions. Tomorrow I’ll post the answers and let you know how the people of Fellowship Baptist Church scored.