Monday, November 16, 2015

An important distinction: the difference between Baptists and the Southern Baptists

Within the Protestant realm there are Baptist churches of many varieties and there are also different types of Southern Baptist (SB) churches. For instance, there's the SB church in downtown Lake Worth, Florida that's been acting out in all sorts of ways: like this example and this one too. There are radicals in all faiths and no one church is indicative of all the people who practice that particular religion.

How many different views are there in the SB faith? Peoples beliefs can break down into differences over how the world is going to end: amillennialism or dispensationalism. And there are many others.

Around 1960 or so many Southern Baptists became angry with the liberalization of America and they broke away from the Baptists. Suffice to say it was a nasty fight and it continues to this day. In 2004 the SB church withdrew from the Baptist World Alliance and swung far to the right in American culture. That move has hurt their membership and you can read about that in this article. Here is an excerpt from that article which appeared in Christianity Today on June 11th of this year:
     Headlined "SBC [Southern Baptist Convention] reports more churches, fewer people" by its official Baptist Press, the story is that even as the number of congregations affiliated to the denomination grew for the 15th year in a row, membership dropped by 200,000. It's the largest one-year decline since 1881. [emphasis added]
     Baptisms fell by 5,067, and weekly worship attendance also fell, by 2.75 per cent.
     This year's headline is a virtual re-run of last year's, which saw the South Carolina Baptist Courier report on 2012 figures: "State of the Church: SBC churches increase, but members and baptisms fall."
      The 2014 figures were announced by the SBC's LifeWay Christian Resources, whose president Thom Rainer said: "It breaks my heart that the trend of our denomination is mostly one of decline." He added: "Programs and meetings are not going to revive our people – only prayer and repentance will lead our people to revival."
The big takeaway seems to be, keep doing what you're doing at the 'Common Ground' (no 's') church here in the little City of Lake Worth:
"Jesus hates religion" in Lake Worth.
Another charming message from the Common Ground church.
Read about the "War On Religion".