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Archive for November 10th, 2008

Baptists and Sound Doctrine

american-baptists

Last month I was accepted into the American Baptists as a Pastor. This is a radical shift from the Independent Christian Church in both structure and in Doctrine. My turning from the Independent Christian Church to the American Baptists came through my theological shift over the past 18 months. For that period of time I have continually questioned the doctrinal beliefs of the Independent Christian Church and its overall structure of Church Governance. My questioning of my own tradition lead to months of deep study of theology and comparing 2 different vantagepoints. This study forced me to look much closer at “Free Will” theology and take a closer look at classical Baptist Doctrine which would be called Calvanism or Reformed Theology. Through this journey that was done prayerfully I discovered that Free Will Theology has many holes in its basic framework. As I dove into Reformed Theology I found a framework that matched up more closely with the biblical text than any other doctrinal stance that is in our culture today.

Since going through this shift and becoming a part of a denomination as a Pastor I have found a greater assurance of what I believe and a contentment that cannot be found in Free Will Theology. When anyone who is a Christian begins to understand what it means to be “saved by grace through faith” without any works playing a part of our salvation they should find a comfort and a joy that can only come from being as Christ-centered as one can be in this lifetime.

So much of the time people in the Church do not understand where their church stands when it comes to the area of Doctrine. What a church believes will affect everything they do and how they approach each other and God. Without a good understanding of who God is and how He works with those who are His you can easily find yourself frustrated with the Christian life. knowing good Christian Doctrine can be a liberating experience and give you a greater sense of peace. If you have no idea where your church stands then find out and see if it matches up with what the New Testament teaches. I believe with everything in me that Reformed Theology is proper Christian Doctrine. Whether you agree with that statement or not you need to have some type of doctrinal foundation that directs your relationship with God.

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