During seminary I worked at an association, one of my primary responsibilities was digitizing old annual meeting records. Through that repetitive work at the scanner, I skimmed a lot of history.
Discovered a group of scripturally convicted autonomous local churches that
> partnered together in missions locally and abroad
> debated and stood on key theological issues like “missionary Baptist” exclusive funding of missionaries from local church to the model of a cooperative program of multiple churches together funding a missionary’s work that no one church could fund on their own
> navigating American (Northern) and Southern Baptist splits during American Civil War and later division based on theological drift vs standing upon scripture
> churches that gathered together to as one voice speak to biblical issues to the culture at large
> churches that partnered together to “screen” church plants/new ministries
> churches that excercised biblical church discipline as given by our Lord in Matthew 18
I would never say you have to be Baptist to be a Christian. I am a Christian who convictionally am baptist. May partnership of baptists continue to be blessed by the Lord as we continue to follow in the footsteps of our forebearers: repenting as the Lord convicts us of any errors, partnering together in the Lord’s work as Christian’s have done from the very beginning, and uncompromisingly standing on the Word and fidelity to our King.
May the Lord Restore and Revitalize our foundations, fellow baptists.