Baptist Traditions


Some Baptist traditions I can think of are,

dunking for baptism

Jesus did not make wine that contained alcohol

Women must wear dresses

Catholic Church started in 300’s.

can you think of any others?


Not all Baptists share that view.

Read This


Altar Call requirement to become a member of a local congregation


Women wear dresses to church. That’s about it. If you see them in a grocery store, they will be wearing pants, and/or shorts, even. Baptists dunk for Baptism, like John the Baptist. They believe that the wine at the wedding feast was not fermented…not necessarily grape juice. They "use’ grape juice in their version of communion and it is symbolic.

The concerns they have with the Catholics, are

  • confessing sin to a priest (a man)
  • rote prayers and rituals that are not biblically based
  • Calling a priest “father”…in the bible there is a passage that reads that no man shall be called “father” except the Father in heaven.
  • allowing the drinking of alcohol
  • allowing dancing

Having grown up with both faiths…but heavily Catholic…I have learned, that the Christian religions, may differ in traditions and practices…but all focus on Jesus Christ and the path that leads us to him and eternity.


Umm…before you guys make yourselves look really foolish, you might want to do some research on the diversity of Baptists that exists.

Baptists range from;

  • Your rather moderate American Baptists here in the north (I know a wonderful American Baptist church I would attend in a heartbeat if I lived 30 more miles out in the middle of nowhere).
  • To your King James only fundamental Baptists
  • To your ethnic black Baptist churches.

So far this thread is a baseball 0-fer as none of these traditions are shared by all Baptists.


…now that’s unity !!

Other traditions I can think of off hand:
prohibition on alcohol (clearly NOT Scriptural)
prohibition on dancing (also NOT Scriptural)
dispensationalist theology (and the Rapture)


Well first of all, there is not one ecclesiastical organization called Baptist. So what you are doing is creating a phantom ecclesiastical organization and ascribing to this phantom organization attributes that only a fraction of it hold.

Is the word for this called “Strawman”?

And this thread is still an 0-fer because not all of these “traditions” are shared by all Baptists.


If this is true then how does one even qualify to call themself “Baptist”?

All that aside, these are still traditions within some congregations of Baptists…are any of the traditions of some Baptists condemned by any of the other congregations ?


Probably as a grouping term.

Much like “Protestant” is a grouping term for Christians that in some way are related to the Martin Luther side of the reformation.

However there is no ecclesiastical organization “Protestant” or “Baptist”.

I don’t know what the grouping term Baptist means though.

Now that I think of it, the tradition of “dunking for baptism” may be common for all Baptists.

Which would make this thread a 1-fer.

Still not a good average.


Have you ever googled “Billy Graham” and observed the criticism that Baptist Billy Graham receives from fundamentalist King James only Baptists?


Well, I can certainly say they don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things. A big difference is found between the Southern Baptist and American Baptist groups. Primitive Baptist is another group altogether.

The American Baptist churches, at least in our area, have been known to do Holy Union ceremonies for gay couples. That would not happen in a Southern Baptist church. The two American Baptist congregations with which I am familiar are also quite “high church” and liturgical, especially compared to most of the Southern Baptist ones in the area.

The Southern Baptist Convention was actually a lot more moderate until the early 1980s. I had a friend who was in a Southern Baptist seminary when the very conservative group took over.

The big thing you need to remember about Baptists is that they are basically diametrically opposed to Catholics in church organization. They have a strong tradition of the autonomy of individual congregations.


Fair enough. That being said, in the spirit of the OP, I would assume that all of these traditions would be equally valid for the purposes of this discussion then, even if they are not held universally by ALL Baptists, since they are autonomous by design anyway.


Certainly one can speak of them as Baptist traditions, but needs to understand that they are not indicative of all Baptists, nor even of all those who identify as a particular type of Baptist. There are general splits along convention lines on many issues.

Some Baptist churches, for instance, will not allow a woman to lead a Sunday School class, much less preach. Others will have women ministers.

This article might prove useful "What makes a Baptist a Baptist" The entire website is interesting if you want to know more about Baptists. I think this might be more along the lines of what the OP was looking for?


First, my apologies. I was feeling just a bit spritely, and attempted to turn what may be a benign enough thread into an argument (or at least fuel what I thought may have been an impending one). Either way, there are enough debates to be found here on CA without me having to start another one. Please forgive me.

Back to the topic at hand…I understand that not all Baptists will hold to whatever traadition may be mentioned here, but are they still given respect and acknowledged as valid by other Baptist congregations (sorry if I’m asking the same question twice) ?

Given everything that has been said thusfar, I guess that would be another tradition to add to the list, and one that all congregations seem to hold to…the autonomy of individual congregations. (were up to at least two now !)


Not all Baptists are alike in their beliefs, just as there are many Catholics who do not adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Abortion is one teaching that comes to mind. There are many Catholics who are pro-choice even though the Church is very pro-life.
As for Baptist women wearing dresses to church - that’s one lthing that I was taught in a Catholic grammar school. The Church is God’s house and when we go to His house we should dress with respect. Women wearing pants are not showing the proper respect. I often see women wearing pants to church but I guess this is one of the newer teachings. To this day I am uncomfortable if I wear pants to church but that’s just me.
There are other religions, besides the Baptists, who believe that Jesus did not change water into wine as we know it today. Guess we’ll all know the true facts when we get to Heaven!


Interesting read…

But it begs a few questions…

First, without a central ecclesiastical organization called “Baptist”, who gets to define what the “distinctives” are? This is just some guy and a web site. What if somebody else disagrees with these distinctives? Who would get to rule what is fair and foul on what a Baptist is?.

But lets say for grins and giggles there are unique Baptist “distinctives”? Without a central ecclesiastical organization called “Baptist”, what is there to enforce these distinctives? How can they be enforced other than some type of gentlemen’s agreement. What prevents anybody no matter what he believes, from planting a church in the middle of nowhere and tacking the name Baptist to it?

I ask this in light of the Westboro Baptist Church of “GodHatesFags” notoriety. Without a central organization, nobody can stop Fred Phelps from calling himself Baptist, even though I would hope every other Baptist on the planet is embarrassed sick by this guy and his “Baptist church”.


not exactly to your question but …

You know why you always take 2 Baptist buddies with you when you go fishing? 1 will drink all your beer :slight_smile:

To any offended Baptist … It was a joke… find another internet board. I need not apologize. This one is for me. or put me on your “ignore” list.


Other Baptist traditions that I practiced as a young adult:

  1. Church service on Wednesday
  2. Sinner’s Prayer
  3. Declare Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior (where does Jesus or anyone else state that is ALL you have to do to obtain Heaven?)
    4)Sola Scriptura (Where in the Bible is the proclamation of all the books of the bible, Bible as Sole rule of faith)
    5)Once saved always saved
  4. The one church is the “spiritual church” where is that in the Bible?
  5. Sola Fide: Where is “I don’t care what you do I ONLY want you to have Faith in me” (Do you have to love me? No, thats a work…
    The list goes on and on…


I haven’t seen this much nit picking in a long time and I live down the road from Chimp Haven.:stuck_out_tongue:

Instead of everyone pointing out that there are 18 billion varieties of Baptists, why not zero in on the shared doctrines of some or even one of the Baptist umbrella groups such as the Southern Baptist Convention?

As far as the theological bent of the SBC, yes, it has varied but it has always been by and large conservative. The conservatives have periodically flexed their muscles when the moderates have gotten to strong. The most recent flexing was in 2000 when the new “Baptist Faith and Message” was adpoted. It reaffirmed some traditional conservative stances on key issues. While yes, there are many Baptists, most large (typically white) Baptist churches in the South are SBC. You must “accept” the “Faith and Message” to be affiliated with the SBC.


I agree there is “Some truth” in the Baptist faith and I know that this is a personal area of weakness for me. I was raised in the Baptist faith and feel that I was misguided greatly until becoming apart of the body of Christ in the universal church.


There aren’t many Baptists who hold to this view. Although many Traditional Catholics (such as myself) think that women should (not must) wear dresses.

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