Put Baptist In Name

I have been a Southern Baptist pastor for over 54 years, and presently I am the pastor of Oak Level Missionary Baptist Church in Marshall County.

Recently in the Western Recorder, I, along with other members of our church, have noticed there are several “churches” who are not Baptist in name, or practice, yet our convention has accepted them into our fellowship. We are disturbed that the name “Baptist” is disappearing from many churches and institutions that we have used Baptist money to build and support.

Our church is a supporter of the Cooperative Program (5 percent), but we have cut it to 3 percent to make a statement, that we are not in favor of supporting non-Baptist churches. They all say they are Baptist, but are ashamed to put the name Baptist on their sign. They like Baptist support, but they do not support the Baptist name.

There was a school in western Kentucky that took the name “Baptist” out of their name.  Many of our Baptist churches stopped supporting the school, and some leaders said they didn’t care. Today the institution is closed.

Baptists have a tremendous history, and many of the greatest institutions in the world, both at home and abroad, but we had better be careful how we treat the Baptist name.

Oak Level Missionary Baptist Church is a new work, and it started with no members, and no money. The KBC supported us in the beginning, for which we are grateful.  Now 12 percent of our budget goes to missions, but we are not in favor of any of our mission money going to churches who are ashamed of the name “Baptist.”

—C.C. Brasher, pastor Oak Level Missionary Baptist Church Benton, Kentucky

From the Western Recorder newspaper, February 9, 2016. Letter to the Editor.

Is the N.T. Church an Un-Assembled Assembly?

“I always thought persons had to assemble or congregate before one could call it an assembly or congregation. But the new ecclesiological innovation now tells me that you can have an un-assembled assembly, an un-congregated congregation, and un-churched church – which has never met and never will meet on this earth in this gospel age.” Wendell H. Rone

(Wendell H. Rone {1913-2003} was a leader of Baptists in Kentucky where he pastored several churches and served in a number of denominational positions. He has served as both professor and president of Mid-Continent Baptist Bible College in west Kentucky and has authored a number of books, included the well-known “Baptist Faith and Roman Catholicism.” The following quote is from page 10 of his book “What Is The Church?”)

Why Start Baptist Churches?

“It takes a great deal of energy, effort, and investment to keep a local congregation (of any kind) in operation.  It has been estimated that any group which has a building with the sign “church” outside and which attempts to provide support for a minister or leader will spend thousands of dollars each year on expenses which are duplicated by similar, near-by groups. 

Now, if the ecumenical folks are correct, and we’re “all working for the same place anyhow,” much of this is a waste.  If we put the label “Baptist” over a door and then teach, preach, and practice exactly the same as another group of folks down the road with a different label, we are indeed guilty of waste, especially in an energy-conscious age.  Even if we differ on a few points, we still would have some difficulty in justifying our separate existence.

But if we are really different – if the name “Baptist” really stands for a set of doctrinal convictions – if our ancestors did not die in vain for their insistence on their views – then there may be a reason to maintain our own building, our own pastor, and our own programs.

If we willing to receive various baptisms, then we might be well advised to merge with those groups, even at the denominational levels, certainly on the local level.  But if our baptism position is unique, then surely we ought to keep it with care!

If we are wiling to have all sorts of doctrine taught in our pulpits, then we probably ought to do more than exchange pulpits; we ought to consider closing the older buildings, merging, and reducing operating costs.  But if doctrine is important, maybe we ought to try being Baptist for a while!”  R. Charles Blair

(Bro. Charles Blair is the pastor of the Poplar Grove Baptist Church in Fulton County, Kentucky and the Director of Missions of the West Kentucky Baptist Association.  He formerly served as Vice-President of Mid-Continent Baptist Bible College in Mayfield, Kentucky. This article was originally published in the school’s paper, “The Mid-Continent Herald.”)