Why I Argue for the Free Church (Baptist) Tradition(s)

   So, why bother?

   I am not arguing for the survival of the present conventions in place, nor for most of the local associations of baptist Christians. It is possible to advocate for certain persons; Tom Billings, Charles Price, Randy Babin, David Smith, but one can advocate the ministry of these men without necessarily binding oneself to their organizations.

   And, there are others.

   I argue for the continued existence of the Free Church strain without necessarily championing the present arrangements or organizations. The CFKATBGCT would benefit from a pervasive personnel purge. The SBC could stop talking about its resurgence because empirical data flatly shows the thirty plus years of the "resurgence" have not been a resurgence at all.

   So, why bother? Why not just let nature take its course, why not just let history extract its penalty? The TBC para-church group imploded around its central personality and, at a time when such a group could probably be helpful in some ways, has no cache left.

   Adversarial bloggers do not kill these groups. We report on their excesses, forecast the consequences of continued malevolent practices and embrace the umbrage accorded our (predictably reliable) warnings.

   So, why bother?

   The reason I advocate for America is simply divisible into one or two categories. I am an American, so I have an emotional attachment to this greatest of nations. Also, I am a citizen of this world, and I do not see another America anywhere. There is only the one government of the people, by the people and for the people. I do not think it should vanish from the earth. I feel we should defend it with our lives, our fortune and our sacred honor. I do not accept the idea of an Islamic-America or a Europeanized America. I do not accept the idea of an American dominated by the amoral familism of the South American peasant class.

   I advocate for the Free Church (baptist Christian) tradition for reasons very like those that spur me to advocate America. I am a baptist, Free Church Christian, for all its wants and worries. I believe in the separation of Church and state because I want the church protected from the state. I believe in an educated clergy because there is more to exposition of the Scripture than hitting "print" on someone's sermon website. I accept the Priesthood of the Believers because I have yet to meet an individual believer who did not need the correction of the mainstream of believers.

   We could go on. 

   I advocate for the Free Church (baptist Christian) tradition because I do not see another one like it in the world, historically or presently.  I love the Roman Catholic rituals and traditions, the quiet reverence of Anglicans and Episcopalians. It is not necessary to go too far with any other group before one sees their populist failures, lost in dependence on the remote central authorities. The Free Church is about  Local Control.

   I could go on. 

   Tomorrow, I will.

10 thoughts on “Why I Argue for the Free Church (Baptist) Tradition(s)”

  1. My point is that pedophilia exists in the same percentages among all Christian religious traditions – the percentages in the RCC match the percentages outside the RCC. So, the “odds” are that an RCC priest ISN’T a pedophile. Also, your last statement equated homosexual males with pedophilia – this is wrongheaded, Rick. Perhaps you didn’t mean for it to come across that way, but it did. There are people out there who can’t keep their hands off of children, they are a problem, but the truth is that less of them are gay than are straight, and more abuse is done to girls by men than boys. There has been no established link between sexual/love orientation and pedophilia. This is a complex issue that DEMANDS nuance. And your last statement, I believe, ignored nuance – which I find uncharacteristic in my friend, Rick.

  2. I was speaking generally of pedophilia. While most offenders are male. Most victims are female. I think you are right that there needs to be a solution. I was pointing to your prior comment and mine, (which have disappeared? Along with the paragraph in question? thus making my 2nd comment that still appears non-sensical) where you seemingly linked same-gender sexual orientation with the abuse of young children(which I fully acknowledge may not have been your intent).
    I’m not disagreeing that the RCC has handled all of this badly – I am disagreeing that the odds are that RCC priests are more likely to be attracted to men, than to women.

  3. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and really enjoy it. So challenging! You make me think. Just a question, though: What is your working definition of “free church”? I’ve noticed you use that term a lot and would like to see a working definition.

  4. Oops, didn’t finish. Is it safe to say “free church” means one not controlled by a central (human) hierarchy?

  5. Good question. The Free Church tradition is that which is other than Roman Catholic or Orthodox Catholic and at the same time other than Protestant. We are not of the Roman or Orthodox traditions but we are not protesting anything. Hence, the Free Church, ancient and venerable but as evolutionary as it is mature.

  6. David Montoya

    Whether it is the victimization of children, the slavery of pornography, the pain of broken marital vows, homosexuality of any variety, .the marketing of sex on TV or the violent and flirtatious behavior of a TBC employee, our animal like instincts are a major spiritual problem the church must face. Folks this is a fight to finish for those who do not know they are perishing. This must again be our focus.
    Good theology MR.

  7. MR and md,
    Jesus is the Church, as John tells us in Revelation, as rationally flows from the Oneness of Brideship and Groom, and in the Divine Manifestation as the Body of Christ. I have heard of ‘Priesthood of the Believer’, and now I can appreciate the ‘Priesthood of Believers'(thank you RD), and the responsibility that that indicates we are to be watchful for false and misleading attitude, speech and behaviour while encouraging sinners to followship. And, how else could we be more readily prepared to care than by the considerate communication of ideas, experience, and solution through the prayerful and studied fellowship of fraternity, partnership, association, and convention?

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