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Baptist vs Presbyterian

Discussion in 'Semper Reformanda' started by Defcon, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. Defcon

    Defcon ------ Dr. Greg Bahnsen

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    Help me out here, what is/are the theological difference(s) between Baptists and Presbyterians? I don't necessarily need proofs or anything like that at this time, just need the differences theologically.

    As a bonus - do they differ in worship styles?
     
  2. Augustine_Was_Calvinist

    Augustine_Was_Calvinist New Member

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    ;) One difference between a Presbyterian and Baptist is a Presbyterian will say hello to you in the liquor store.
     
    Paleoconservatarian likes this.
  3. Augustine_Was_Calvinist

    Augustine_Was_Calvinist New Member

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    But on the serious side.

    That depends on what flavor of Baptist you are talking about.

    The Baptists are not monolithic.

    If you are talking about Free Will Baptists, then the differences are wide and deep.

    If you are talking about Southern Baptists the differences are many but not as with the FW Baptists.

    If you are talking about the breakaway Jimmah Cartah baptists, then the difference is as the difference between east and west.

    Southern Baptists reject Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement and pervert Perseverance of the Saints.That is three for starters.
     
  4. Augustine_Was_Calvinist

    Augustine_Was_Calvinist New Member

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    Ooops, Southern Baptists also reject Irresistable Grace.
     
  5. Defcon

    Defcon ------ Dr. Greg Bahnsen

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    From an American Baptist standpoint (which I'm familiar with) it just seems watered down. They believe in predestination (some do anyway) but don't take it any further than that, like they don't want to think too hard. Of course they still do the perseverance of the saints. I can also verify they don't teach limited atonement.
    1)Any info on American Baptists beyond this?

    2)Also, do Presbyterian churches do any modern worship?

    I know not all Baptists do but the church I currently attend does some modern worship music. My wife and I are disenchanted (I know that's not the best word but there are a lot of factors involved) with our church and may look elsewhere.

    3)Are all Presbyterian churches 5 point Calvinists?
     
  6. Imblessed

    Imblessed Reformed Baptist with a Quaker heritage

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    I'll give you my church and the differences:

    worship style--we do praise and worship, modern music with a full band etc etc

    typical hour--25 to 30 minutes of singing and 30 minutes or so of the service--services are done as "series"--some on books of the bible, some on modern themes, some on theology(had a 10 week series on GRACE earlier this year)

    Credobaptism--as opposed to paedobaptism

    Communion--once a month on a Wednesday--we practice open communion with grape juice and bits of bread

    No creeds or confessions-- we don't have any creeds or confessions we must agree with to become a member, but you must be baptised--infant baptism is ok(but you can be re-baptised if you really want--it's not recommended) and so is baptism by pouring or sprinkling.

    Hmmm, I'm not sure I can think of anything else. As Augustinewascalvinist pointed out--Free Will baptist are WAY WAY different, and there are alot of different "kinds" of baptists out there. I'd say the Reformed Baptists are the closest. My church is a Calvinistic Baptist church. We are actually a community church, but for all entents and purposes we are baptist. I think our pastor chose the community church names because he didn't want to scare away anyone who has/had a negative view of baptists(like me, I never would have attended if it had Baptist in the name--my ONLY experience with baptists was a southern baptist church in southern ohio that told my dad to make my mom be quiet in church and was very racist)

    hope that helped some.....
     
  7. Imblessed

    Imblessed Reformed Baptist with a Quaker heritage

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  8. Defcon

    Defcon ------ Dr. Greg Bahnsen

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    It's ok.... I grew up Methodist, started going to a Baptist Church when I was in high school. I was really drawn to OSAS and as I read more and more, I found the Doctrines of Grace. I wouldn't say I live in a small town but there are definitely a lot bigger cities than where I live. I say that to say that I have a pretty good feel for the Baptist churches in my area and the best way I can describe them is "luke-warm". They call it "seeker-friendly" :sick:.

    For instance, my church is relatively new (5 years old) and we were in a leadership conference with a pastor of one of the two large Baptist churches in our area. We were suggesting (my wife, me, and a couple others) that our church become a little more theologically sound - in other words, take a position on some things. When asked for an example, I brought up predestination vs. free-will and this pastor replied "Does that really matter?" in a rhetorical tone. Um YES! This is the kind of attitude that most of our churches have -"Here is a warm and fuzzy feeling, take it home with you and when you come back next week we'll give you another one. Don't worry about theology - it is too offensive.":mad:

    Sorry I'm ranting, but that's some of the background and that's why I'm curious about presbyterian vs. baptist. A Reformed Baptist Church would be ideal, but I don't have one of those in my area.....
     
  9. Imblessed

    Imblessed Reformed Baptist with a Quaker heritage

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    yea, I get where you are coming from. Our church is also relatively new (7 years) and is "seeker friendly" -our pastor makes no bones about it. Although the way he describes seeker friendly and the way I have heard it from other people is totally different!

    We had been going for about a year, and while I really liked the church, I felt that the services were pure milk and I needed more. It was about then that I had discovered the Doctrines of Grace and was seriously considering talking to my husband about finding another church when our pastor started a series on Grace. It was about 10 weeks long and he covered the Doctrines of Grace in it. I was sooo relieved! But at the same time worried, because I was afraid he'd go back to doing the same ole' same ole' (milk and cookies anyone?) But I've been pleasantly suprised. He had such an overwhelmingly positive response on that series that he's incorporated more and more meat into the sermons. Not enough for me yet, but I understand that there are alot of christians there who still need the milk. I'm just glad that he's taken the step toward stronger preaching. I'm curious to see where it leads, hopefully away from the whole Pastor Warren thing and into a more boldly Calvinistic teaching.

    The cool thing is that it was some of his closest friends and elders of the church that told him he was getting too lukewarm and needed to really lay things out for the church. We are getting ready to build a new church (our first--we are in a converted warehouse right now) and we are on the threshhold of a new "era" so to speak. I'm glad he's taking the steps now to lay out what the church stands for and where it's going--and I'm glad that the elders are in sync with it!

    anyway, this is totally off topic, I just felt like sharing...I'm such a motormouth sometimes......;)
     
  10. JimfromOhio

    JimfromOhio Life of Trials :)

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    Churches and Religion Organizations I have attended over the years (46 years). I have missed a few since I was so young to remember the name of the churches that my parents took me. Also quick "one-time" visits to churches will also be missed.

    First Congregational Church (MA); Calvary Baptist Church (Independent)(MA); Trinity Baptist Church (Independent) (MA); Ruggles Baptist Church (Independent) (MA); Boston School for the Deaf/Sisters of St. Joseph (Catholic),(MA); First Baptist Church (MA); Bible Baptist Church (MA); Island Baptist Church (FLA); Holy Family Parish (Catholic) (MA); United Methodist Church,(OH); Assembly of God Church (OH); Lane Avenue Baptist Church SBC (OH); Calvary Bible Baptist Church (OH); Liberty Baptist Church of Deaf (OH); Firestone Road Baptist Church (Independent) (OH); Safe Harbor Foursquare Church (MA); Grace Brethren Church (Anabaptist) (OH)......

    Now my wife and I are joining a local Presbyterian church (PCA).

    * All churches I visited worship differently
    * All churches I visited preached differently
    * Some baptist churches are into legalism
    * Some baptist churches are into Fundamentalism
    * Some baptist churches are into liberalism
    * Doctrines are different in almost all baptist churches I visited

    In over-all, I have learned that Baptist doctrines are so similar to Presbyterian's doctrines. There are some Baptist churches that are more reformed and teaches calvism. Some are not calvism. I can go on.
     
  11. Imblessed

    Imblessed Reformed Baptist with a Quaker heritage

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    Grace brethren is anabaptist? I was on the "official" anabaptist site and they were very much against calvinism. the Grace Brethren site I visited however didn't seem anabaptist at all.
     
  12. JimfromOhio

    JimfromOhio Life of Trials :)

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    Many Churches in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches are Anabaptists but not like other Anabaptists. They do teach Calvism but not the way the reformed teaches since they are not 100% calvism.

    Additional note: Grace Brethren Churches are Anabaptists in many ways except for doctrine of salvation (calvism) which they differ from other Anabaptists.
     
  13. Imblessed

    Imblessed Reformed Baptist with a Quaker heritage

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    ok, that makes more sense. Sorry to derail the thread....that just popped out at me and I had to ask you about it! :wave:
     
  14. Defcon

    Defcon ------ Dr. Greg Bahnsen

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    Thanks everyone for their input so far. From what I can tell, it sounds like a difference between individual churches and not an overall belief of either denomination. While I guess that's good in some ways, it definitely makes it a little tougher to look for a church. Any other major differences between Baptists and Presbyterians?
     
  15. reformedfan

    reformedfan Senior Veteran

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    immersion vs. sprinkling, which should be a minor issue, they turn into sectarianism: 'you haven't been baptized unless you've been dunked' i've heard baptists claim. (but they don't use the word 'dunked', i do ;))
     
  16. MrJim

    MrJim Well-Known Member

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    I am currently a part of ABC and the reference to it as a "club" is pretty accurate. As far as I can tell there is no creed (other than they are proud they've been ordaining women for over 100 years). It's a free-for-all.

    At the other end of the spectrum I was a part of a Reformed Baptist congregation. Apart from not baptizing babies they were the hardest of the hardcore calvinists I've ever seen. Very straight & serious worship and nearly college-level SS classes.
     
  17. HiredGoon

    HiredGoon Old School Presbyterian

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    I was raised in a conservative ABC congregation, which would never have thought of ordaining a female pastor, although they did have deaconesses (but they were not ordained). There were no formalized confessions or comprehensive statements of faith, and I grew up completely ignorant of calvinism until a few years ago. In fact I was so ignorant of calvinism, I foolishly thought that it had died out with the decline of Puritanism in the 18th century. :D Of course the most obvious difference between a Baptist church and a Presbyterian is baptism. Presbyterians are paedobaptists, and prefer sprinkling or pouring over immersion, though most will admit that the mode is not that important. Most conservative Presbyterian denominations hold to the Westminster standards as their doctrinal standards. So looking over the WCF and catechisms will give you an idea of how Presbyterian theology differs.

    Westminster Standards
     
  18. reformedfan

    reformedfan Senior Veteran

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    i think the mode is important enough that i am personally opposed to dunking, but i would never say that un;less someone has been sprinkled he hasn't been baptized,

    i bet many presbys would agree with that (tho maybe mot with the irreverent use of the word 'dunking')
     
  19. JimfromOhio

    JimfromOhio Life of Trials :)

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    I am attending a local Presbyterian church (PCA) and I really don't see much different in style and "major" doctrines except baptism and Westminster Confession's Catechism. Baptists and Presbyterians are so similar in beliefs, teachings and worship. Most Baptists teaches Arminianism while handful of Baptists do teach Calvinism. The Presbyterians are govern by "The Presbyterian Ecclesiastical Government" while most Baptists are govern by "The Congregational Ecclesiastical Government".

    Denominations causes divisions and divisions have been around for thousands years. Beliefs that impact people's lives and the Church, but with which there can be sincere disagreements. They are important; Christians might argue for them. These are theological ideas with which there can be great latitude of belief. These would include beliefs about predestination, eternal security, original sin, infant baptism and others.
     
  20. Cajun Huguenot

    Cajun Huguenot Cajun's for Christ

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    hey folks I thought I would take a break from hurricane rcovery work to make a comment or two here.

    I think y'all have touche on some peripheral differences but have thus far missed the meat of the matter. The obvious differences between Baptists and Presbyterians is paedo verses credo baptism, but this is just the outward manifestation of a much deeper difference. That difference has to do with how we understand God's covenant with His people.

    Is God's covenant individualistic only (the Baptist view) or is it familial and generatinal as well (the Presbyterian view)?

    That is the heart of the difference between us.

    Coram Deo,
    Kenith
     
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