While doing a lot of driving the last few days I noticed several signs bearing church names. Some were the hip “Good News Center” type and some were the old-school traditional style. One that caught my eye was __________ Bible Church. Yes, there was an adjective but I don’t remember it. What caught my attention was the word “Baptistic” in parenthesis. So, it looked like this _________ Bible Church (Baptistic).
That got me thinking. I’ve actually been familiar with several Bible churches in my life that would declare they were “Baptistic.” At times I’ve had Baptist preacher-friends tell me about some Bible church they fellowship with and then state, “Brother, they are really Baptist, or Baptistic, but just don’t use the name.” Hmmm. When I saw the sign I asked my wife, “Why haven’t I ever heard of a church that is Methodistic, Nazarenistic, Pentecostish, Catholicy?” It seems people in those groups are happy to stake out their ecclesiological claim. They are clearing identifying themselves.
It makes me think of buying generic medicine that has the “compare to Nyquil” on the label. OK, to save a few shekels, maybe I’ll get the “almost Nyquil” when I have a cold, but we are talking about the Lord’s work here. Shouldn’t a church know what it is and then plainly say so?
Could it be that these “Baptistic” churches see New Testament Baptist churches as truly being what the Lord Jesus established, but they don’t want to go so far as to put “Baptist” in their name? Why? Is there something that is hindering them from just embracing the name that God gave to the first man who came baptizing those who repented in this New Testament era? Could it be that these Bible churches that are “Baptistic” just need to make up their minds?
I’m thankful for the Scriptures and for Baptist history. I praise the Lord that He is building a Baptist church here in Brunswick, Maine. We are so very thankful for the many decidedly Baptist churches that we enjoy fellowship with. We’re not ishy or istic. Our mind is made up! By the grace of God we will remain a New Testament Baptist church in faith and practice!