Why I Left The Baptist Church

I have been asked several times through the years why I left the Baptist Church. My answer is that it was not just because of one thing, but it involved several issues and most importantly, an attitude. As a general rule, Baptist people are not as diligent and careful in their study of God’s word as they should be (and some so called Christians are like that too), and this leads to many false teachings. Two of these false teachings were at the forefront of my decision to leave the Baptist church in November of 1981.

The Baptist church emphasizes you must “accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour” to be saved. This is true enough if you understand that they mean by this phrase the same as what Philip meant when he said in Acts 8:37 “If thou believest with all thine heart.” The problem is Baptists say this is all you have to do, excluding the necessity of water baptism (in order to salvation) in their teaching. Many texts (for example Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, and I Peter 3:21) show clearly that a person does have to be baptized to be saved. I think Baptists are too wedded to their system of “faith only” to accept the plain meaning of these passages. After diligently studying this issue for about three years, I determined that I must change and follow what the scriptures actually say on the purpose of water baptism, instead of continuing to follow what I had always been taught.

Another major issue I studied in-depth in the period leading up to my conversion was the “once saved always saved” question. Countless passages (for example Galatians 5:2,4, II Peter 2:20-22, Hebrews 3:1,12, Revelation 3:5, and James 5:19-20) show that a Christian can “fall from grace,” and that when a Christian sins he must repent to be forgiven (Acts 8:22, I John 9). My opinion is that most Baptists continue to hold on to their false “once saved always saved” position because it makes them feel more comfortable. They don’t ever want to have to worry about losing their salvation – no matter how they live. In actuality, the Baptist way is a de-emphasis upon obedience to God, whereas God’s way most certainly requires our obedience (Matthew 7:21, Hebrews 5:9).

But as I said, these two issues are just a symptom of the problem. Diligent Christians struggle with different aspects of Biblical teaching such as withdrawal (I Corinthians 5), the covering (I Corinthians 11:2-16), divorce and remarriage questions (Matthew 19:9), and etc. The majority of Baptists completely ignore these issues and therefore any difficulties in their implementation are moot for them. This attitude is the underlying reason why I left the Baptist church. I am very thankful to the many who helped me see the error of my way during those years.

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