A Poll for Baptists (Sorry, Presbyterians!)

Are You a "Divine Right" or "Best System" Baptist?

  • Divine Right

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • Best System

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 2 25.0%

  • Total voters
    8
Status
Not open for further replies.

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
OK, fellow Baptists: are you a divine right Baptist - meaning that you believe that Baptist is the only system of church government taught in the Scriptures, or are you a best system Baptist - meaning that you believe that Baptist is just the "best system" of church government (of several) taught in the Bible?
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
OK, fellow Baptists: are you a divine right Baptist - meaning that you believe that Baptist is the only system of church government taught in the Scriptures, or are you a best system Baptist - meaning that you believe that Baptist is just the "best system" of church government (of several) taught in the Bible?

Do I detect a hint of sarcasm? :rolleyes:
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I'm not so sure Baptist is a polity. Elder rule is a polity and that is what I subscribe to.
 

CovenantalBaptist

Puritan Board Freshman
Baptists (and I really mean Reformed Baptist) are associational, not denominational. But they do have polity just like the Presbyterians. See here for some historical documentation on Baptist polity.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Congregational Plural Elder Rule here.

This was a great four views book.

[ame=http://www.amazon.com/Who-Runs-Church-Government-Counterpoints/dp/0310246075]Amazon.com: Who Runs the Church?: 4 Views on Church Government (Counterpoints: Church Life): Dr. Peter Toon,Dr. L. Roy Taylor,Dr. Paige Patterson,Sam E. Waldron,Steven B. Cowan,Stanley N. Gundry: Books[/ame]
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
So who is going to start a thread for the poor neglected paedobaptist Congregationalists? Alas and avast. . . .
 

raekwon

Puritan Board Junior
I'm not so sure Baptist is a polity. Elder rule is a polity and that is what I subscribe to.

Congregational Plural Elder Rule here.

Every Baptist church I know of that has elders is actually not ruled by the elders, but rather "led" by the elders and ruled by the congregation (which is still an improvement over the usual single pastor/staff-deacons-congregation model we see in most Baptist churches).

How is elder rule compatible with the Baptist distinctive of congregational government?
 
Last edited:

smhbbag

Puritan Board Senior
So who is going to start a thread for the poor neglected paedobaptist Congregationalists? Alas and avast. . . .

What about calvinistic credobaptists who want Presbyterian polity? That's me.

MHO, the Presbyterian polity, with a small amount of latitude, is the only polity permissible in the scriptures.

Can I vote in the Presbyterian poll? :)
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
I voted, we Presbyterians will not be ignored. :p

(See other thread for precedence :lol:)

:rofl::rofl::rofl:

Anyone with El Rushbo as an avatar is in no danger of being ignored!

Baptist polity (I have actually lectured on it in seminary several times as a guest lecturer) is a funny animal. In the ordinances, er . . . ah . . . "sacraments" for you Presbyterian folks, baptists spend so much time explaining that it REALLY does NOT mean this, that, or the other thing, that by the time we are done we end up with a doctrine of the "real absence." In our governance, we may be firmly committed to doing what we do, but for reasons that are somewhat epistemically lame. Most baptists, for example, will admit that one can "legitimately" adduce biblical precedent and precept to "support" any of at least three forms of polity.

It you examine the broader historical matrix in which a particular polity became popular, it is not surprising that episcopacy tends to seem obvious to people who live under monarchy, presbyterian government seems clear and compelling to those exposed to a parliamentary system, and congregational polity only surfaces when there are lots of people making "democratic" noises. Perhaps unlike some of my sisters and brothers with other forms, baptists are often willing to allow the role of holy expedience and sanctified pragmaticism in the development of the baptist approach to church government.

Still, nobody is more stubborn than a baptist. So, biblically, there is ONLY one way to do it . . . OUR way (even if we admit that expedience has as much to do with why we do it this way as anything).
 

mshingler

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm not so sure Baptist is a polity. Elder rule is a polity and that is what I subscribe to.

Congregational Plural Elder Rule here.

Every Baptist church I know of that has elders is actually not ruled by the elders, but rather "led" by the elders and ruled by the congregation (which is still an improvement over the usual single pastor/staff-deacons-congregation model we see in most Baptist churches).

How is elder rule compatible with the Baptist distinctive of congregational government?

The church I pastor (teaching elder might be more applicable) would be an exception. This church recently went from the typical pastor/deacon/congregation Baptist Structure to elder rule.
Is this compatible with the Baptist distinctive of congregationalism? I don't know. On the one hand, the congregation still votes to affirm some decisions, including the appointment of a new elder, although that vote of affirmation is not binding. The elders still have the final authority to make the decisions. On the other hand, I think we are more concerned with being compatible with Scripture than being compatible with Baptist distinctives.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I voted, we Presbyterians will not be ignored. :p

(See other thread for precedence :lol:)

:rofl::rofl::rofl:

Anyone with El Rushbo as an avatar is in no danger of being ignored!

Baptist polity (I have actually lectured on it in seminary several times as a guest lecturer) is a funny animal. In the ordinances, er . . . ah . . . "sacraments" for you Presbyterian folks, baptists spend so much time explaining that it REALLY does NOT mean this, that, or the other thing, that by the time we are done we end up with a doctrine of the "real absence." In our governance, we may be firmly committed to doing what we do, but for reasons that are somewhat epistemically lame. Most baptists, for example, will admit that one can "legitimately" adduce biblical precedent and precept to "support" any of at least three forms of polity.

It you examine the broader historical matrix in which a particular polity became popular, it is not surprising that episcopacy tends to seem obvious to people who live under monarchy, presbyterian government seems clear and compelling to those exposed to a parliamentary system, and congregational polity only surfaces when there are lots of people making "democratic" noises. Perhaps unlike some of my sisters and brothers with other forms, baptists are often willing to allow the role of holy expedience and sanctified pragmaticism in the development of the baptist approach to church government.

Still, nobody is more stubborn than a baptist. So, biblically, there is ONLY one way to do it . . . OUR way (even if we admit that expedience has as much to do with why we do it this way as anything).

Do you have the audio of any of those lectures in Mp3 format so that you could share them with us, Dennis?
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I'm not so sure Baptist is a polity. Elder rule is a polity and that is what I subscribe to.

Congregational Plural Elder Rule here.

Every Baptist church I know of that has elders is actually not ruled by the elders, but rather "led" by the elders and ruled by the congregation (which is still an improvement over the usual single pastor/staff-deacons-congregation model we see in most Baptist churches).

How is elder rule compatible with the Baptist distinctive of congregational government?

Rae, I can only speak for my church. The elders make all decisions that are theological in nature. The pastor and elder positions are voted on by the congregation. Issues that have to do with budget, or admitting or terminating membership are voted on my the membership. Our elders are very good at listening to the congregation. Any minister of the gospel who is oblivious to the voice of the those he ministers to is going to have problems. When we went from monthly to weekly communion there was no vote, although the pastor preached on the topic for a month before informing the church of the coming change.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top