Website owner:  James Miller

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             ROOT OF MY DIFFERENCES WITH BAPTISTS          10/08

   What is the root and core of my differences with the Baptists 
   (and many other evangelicals)?  Perhaps I can explain it 
   through the use of a dialogue between a Baptist named Steve and 

 Steve:  We are all sinners.  The Bible says all have sinned and 
   come short of the glory of God. We are all headed for hell 
   unless we turn to God and be saved.  We can go to heaven only 
   by turning to God and accepting Christ as our Savior.  In the 
   Bible we read:

   John 3:16-18  "For God so loved the world that he gave his only 
   begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish 
   but have everlasting life. {17} For God did not send his Son 
   into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through 
   Him might be saved. {18} He who believes in Him is not 
   condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, 
   because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten 
   Son of God."

   John 6:47   Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth 
   on me hath everlasting life.

   John 11:25, 26   Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and 
   the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead yet 
   shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall 
   never die.

   John 5:24   But these are written, that ye might believe that 
   Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. And that believing ye 
   might have life through his name.  

   So we are saved by believing in Jesus.  We are not saved by 
   works.  We are saved by faith.  We cannot merit heaven.  We 
   cannot get to heaven through doing good works, or work our way 
   to heaven.

   Eph 2:8-9   For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that 
   not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: {9} Not of works, 
   lest any man should boast.

   Titus 3:5   Not by works of righteousness which we have done, 
   but according to his mercy he saved us, ...

   Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the 
   forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 

   We are all sinners saved by grace.  We are saved by the blood 
   of Jesus.  The main purpose of Jesus in coming down to earth 
   was to die on the cross, and by so doing, to be that supreme 
   sacrifice, atoning for the sins of man. The sacrifice of Jesus 
   for mankind's sins ended the necessity of the animal sacrifices 
   required by God for sin in the Old Testament days.  All of our 
   sins are wiped out by the blood of Jesus.  We are "made 
   righteous" by the blood of Jesus.  When we are saved the slate 
   is wiped clean.  We are all low, filthy sinners redeemed 
   through the blood of Christ.  When we are saved we become 
   Christians, transformed, "new creatures in Christ Jesus".  The 
   scripture is plain.  Do you disagree?  What are your 

 Me:  Baptist dogma, doctrine, theology is a logical, self-
   contained system which has as its starting point certain 
   tenets, assumptions.  The entire doctrinal system is (at least 
   theoretically) deduced from the basic tenets in the same way 
   that the theorems of Euclidean geometry are deduced from a set 
   of assumptions.  The basic assumptions or tenets derive from 
   various scripture such as those you have just cited.  The 
   problem is that one cannot deduce from the basic Baptist tenets 
   the central importance of such things as:  love of God; 
   obedience to God; upright, Godly living; Virtue, Goodness, 
   Morality.  Moreover, to emphasize such things as Virtue, 
   Goodness, Morality and upright, Godly living as an essential 
   part of the Christian way appears to be a contradiction to 
   their basic tenets.  It appears to contradict the "salvation by 
   faith, not by works" assumption.  Consequently, for them to 
   speak of the importance of  Virtue, Goodness, Morality and 
   upright, Godly living would be, for them, doctrinal error, 
   religious heresy.  It would be an unspeakable act, strict 
   logicians as they are.  They can't reconcile the importance of 
   Virtue, Goodness and Morality with their dogma so they never 
   talk about it.  The problem here is that the central importance 
   of Virtue, Goodness, Morality and upright, Godly living --- and 
   love of God and obedience to God --- is the theme of a great 
   deal of scripture.  Jesus spoke much of the importance of love 
   of God and obedience to him through right living, as did the 
   apostles.  Moreover, it is the main theme of the books of 
   Psalms and Proverbs.  In addition, we must consider common 
   sense.  Common sense says that religion without Virtue, 
   Goodness and Morality is sham.  Common sense speaks of the 
   central role of Virtue and Goodness.  Common sense says that 
   God is not a God of sham.  We know that God, by his very 
   nature, is all about Virtue and Goodness.  Scripture after 
   scripture states that the righteous, God-fearing person will go 
   to heaven and the wicked, godless person will go to hell.

   The Baptists pride themselves on deriving all spiritual truth, 
   all that is important for anyone to know, from scripture --- 
   and that means, for them, deriving all spiritual truth from 
   their dogmatic system.  The root and core of my objection to 
   Baptistism is that I feel their constant, unending repetition 
   of certain basic themes ---  their basic tenets --- in both 
   sermons and song, programs the mind into a mentality that I 
   feel is far off course from true Christianity.  They 
   indoctrinate the mind into basic assumptions, beliefs and 
   attitudes that I believe they are in deep error and I think the 
   root problem is their dogma. They make Christianity a thing of 
   the head, a matter of belief, an intellectual thing.  I think 
   it is a thing of the heart, an attitude of the heart.  I 
   believe that the heart and core of true Christianity is love of 
   God, obedience to God, and the pursuit of Virtue, Goodness, 
   Wisdom and Understanding.  I believe that true Christianity 
   corresponds to the kind of attitudes and outlooks that we find 
   in the books of Psalms and Proverbs.  The net result of Baptist 
   theology is a mentality in which religion becomes divorced from 
   Virtue, Goodness and Morality.  The Baptists never talk about 
   the importance of Virtue.  The most important topic of 
   Christianity is slighted and neglected.  This is bad, bad.  
   This neglect has serious consequences.  The devil is in it.  
   There is no real spiritual guidance.  Result?  Spiritual vacuum 
   and foolishness.  Mankind needs spiritual guidance.  He needs 
   to be told how to live.  In this wicked, godless world he needs 
   spiritual guidance on how to live life.  Christianity is about 
   a life of integrity and goodness.  It is about repudiating sin 
   and living uprightly.  Man needs to be told that.  Christianity 
   without Virtue and Goodness is the devil's lie, a slippery, 
   dangerous half-truth.

   The Baptists teach "we are made righteous by the blood of 
   Jesus", that once we are saved we are assured of heaven (the 
   doctrine of eternal security), and that good works and upright 
   living are something apart --- not essential for going to 
   heaven.  Instead of the theme "the upright, god-fearing man 
   will go to heaven, the wicked man will go to hell" that we find 
   in the book of Psalms, their theme is that the person who has 
   gone through their ritual of "accepting Christ as his Savior" 
   will go to heaven and the way he actually lives after he has 
   done this is immaterial in regard to whether he will go to 
   heaven or not.  He has been "made righteous by the blood of 
   Jesus", he is "clean" because God has declared him clean.  So 
   if, as a Christian, he leads an immoral, sinful life, he is 
   still righteous, by their theology, because God has declared 
   him righteous.  His sins are covered by the blood of Christ.  
   He is judged in a different way from those who haven't 
   "accepted the Lord" --- he will go to heaven while the unsaved 
   who live the same kind of lives will go to hell.  What kind of 
   foolish logic is this?  What is wickedness?  What is 
   righteousness?  What kind of tricks and games are they playing?  
   What is this "technical righteousness", "God-declared 
   righteousness", that is actually wickedness?  Their reasoning 
   sounds a bit specious to me. I think all their complicated 
   theology, abstruse reasonings and arguments, has led them into 
   big trouble.   I suspect them of intellectual dishonesty, of 
   self-deception.  The devil and his lies and deceptions are 
   everywhere in this world.  The Baptists utilize a lot of fuzzy, 
   nebulous terms and phrases (religious cant) whose meaning, I 
   think, should be examined more carefully.

   The Baptists have their "plan of salvation", a cut and dried 
   formula for becoming a Christian, that they repeat constantly, 
   present in every sermon.  At the end of each sermon there is an 
   altar call where they urge people to "come forward and accept 
   Christ".  They teach that once a person complies with their 
   formula for becoming a Christian (i.e. accepting Christ as 
   their Savior), he, in some miraculous way, suddenly becomes 
   transformed into a "new creature in Jesus", and that although 
   he may not feel any different than he did before, he is in fact 
   a new creature because "God has said it would be and God cannot 
   lie" so one must simply believe God for it.  I ask again:  What 
   kind of ridiculous nonsense is this?  What kind of intellectual 
   dishonesty and self-deception is this?

   I am a believer in common sense and follow my intuition in 
   things.  And I am skeptical of complicated theory.  I check 
   theory against reality.  I want to know what really works, not 
   what theoretically is supposed to work.  And in the realm of 
   religion, I know what really works --- it is a life based on  
   love of God, obedience to God, and the pursuit of Virtue, 
   Goodness, Wisdom and Understanding i.e. the life we learn about 
   by reading the books of Psalms and Proverbs.  I know this 
   formula does work, at least in the sense of giving mental 
   health and happiness on this earth.  To the extent that a 
   particular Baptist interprets the Baptist formula of  
   "accepting Christ" in this way, it will work for him too.  It 
   must be said the Baptists do encourage people to read the Bible 
   and make it the foundation for their lives.  Very important!

   The Baptists by their habit of constant repetition of their 
   basic tenets, by repeating over and over the same idea, program 
   the mind, brainwash and shackle the mind. They turn people into 
   robots, rob them of their good sense, their mental perspective, 
   their power to think.  It is a religion of dogma and doctrine, 
   a religion of the head instead of the heart. 

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