Baptists & Salvation - Inaugurated Eschatology


#1

I recently listened to a local Southern Baptist pastor describe salvation as akin to “inaugurated eschatology.” His point was that although we are already justified by the blood of Christ, the born-again believer must continue to walk with God and serve in obedience to Him. Is this any different than the Catholic position?

Where Southern Baptists say that we may differ is on the issue of whether we can lose our salvation. The faithful SBC-follower claims we can’t. But at the same time, they question the salvation of those who have received Christ and yet continue to backslide in their sin (hence the suspicion of Catholics - who say they are Christians, but yet worship idols, worship Mary, etc.). The Catholic would say those who continue to sin are separated from God. The SBC-follower would say those who continue to sin lose their joy and bring discipline upon themselves. Is there really a difference here? If someone loses their joy, are they not separated from God?

Isn’t this just semantics?

As a former SBC-follower, my firm belief is that Southern Baptists actually subscribe to many Catholic beliefs (or at the very least are much closer to Catholic doctrine than Reformed doctrine), but out of spite for “Rome,” Baptists desperately cling to the Reformation in an effort to distance themselves from their Catholic brethren.


#2

I wonder what “discipline” means in their view? Temporal? Sin has consequences here on earth, whether confessed or not.


#3

Yes, when they refer to God’s discipline they mean here on earth. But they also recognize that God requires perfection before we enter Heaven - so why are they opposed to Purgatory? Probably because (1) the word isn’t mentioned in the bible; and (2) it’s a Catholic doctrine.


#4

#5

This.

My children may apologize for their transgressions, but they still have to pay a price.


#6

Stilldreamn & Calgar,
I agree. Even when we confess our sins and God forgives us; there are still consequences set into motion by our actions.

Peace,
Anna


#7

Yes, but you’re responding to a claim I haven’t made. Please note the title of the thread. The topic is much narrower.


#8

I was responding to your statement, “my firm belief is that Southern Baptists actually subscribe to many Catholic beliefs (or at the very least are much closer to Catholic doctrine than Reformed doctrine).”

I didn’t realize that statement was off limits. I’ll step out of the discussion. :slight_smile:

Peace,
Anna


#9

[quote="Calgar, post:5, topic:278092"]
This.

My children may apologize for their transgressions, but they still have to pay a price.

[/quote]

I want to add that it's out of love that there is a price for my childrens transgressions. It's punishment that often brings about understanding and maturity (maturaty? I can't spell.).


#10

Well, you’re right to point out my overstatement, Anna. Please re-join the discussion. :slight_smile:


#11

Well, I would label Baptist doctrine Reformed because it subscribes to most of the chief tenants of the Reformed wing of the Reformation, with the exception of infant baptism and more often than not the understanding of predestination (though some Baptists are Calvinistic on that). They would, of course, share the Catholic understanding of the Person of Christ, the Trinity, heaven, hell, etc. but so would the Reformed.


#12

Because the means by which we are perfect in God’s sight is different in Baptist theology, rendering purgatory unnecessary.


#13

[quote="stewstew03, post:10, topic:278092"]
Well, you're right to point out my overstatement, Anna. Please re-join the discussion. :)

[/quote]

stewstew03,

Thanks.

I always respect the OP. It's your thread and you have the right to define the boundaries of the discussion. :)

Peace,
Anna


#14

Forgive me for asking, but which document (or other evidence) are you pointing to…?
It’s been my experience (as a former southern baptist) that only true believers are saved. A true believer is someone who recognizes their sins, turns from them, turns to God, and grows in their walk with Him. Baptists do not believe that just because someone says the “sinner’s prayer”, and yet continues to sin, that he/she will be saved. There must be evidence of a Christian’s “true belief” (i.e., righteousness).

I would see this as vastly different than the Catholic understanding of what happens to a soul that commits mortal sin. It isn’t a separation unto eternal punishment.

I would too, but only if I accepted your unproven premise as true (see supra).

Well, I would label Baptist doctrine Reformed because it subscribes to most of the chief tenants of the Reformed wing of the Reformation, with the exception of infant baptism and more often than not the understanding of predestination (though some Baptists are Calvinistic on that).

Southern Baptists do not subscribe to the traditional five points of Calvinism (TULIP).

They would, of course, share the Catholic understanding of the Person of Christ, the Trinity, heaven, hell, etc. but so would the Reformed.

Glad to hear you value Tradition.


#15

#16

I agree - I think you’re missing the point.

…that doesn’t mean the SBC views that a true believer will never sin.

This is a point I haven’t made - was this directed toward me?

When a “true believer” does sin, it separates him from a close fellowship with God.

Correct.

They do not, however, lose their justification. This is, however, how Catholicism views mortal sin.

As you know the SBC doesn’t have a concept, per se, of mortal sin (they would make the point that ALL sin is sin). Viewed through the SBC lens, when a believer commits a “mortal sin” (e.g., murder) he or she is still expected to repent and turn away. If not, then (through the lens of the SBC) he or she was never a “true believer.” It’s sorta like Monday morning quarterbacking, but the concept is still the same.

Let’s use an extreme example - the BTK killer. Dennis Rader was a serial killer; he was also a member of Christ Lutheran Church (Wichita, KS), and served as the president of the Congregation Council. Now, at some point Mr. Rader became a baptized Christian in the Lutheran tradition. However, over the course of three decades he also murdered people in a terrible and gruesome manner. From the Southern Baptist’s perspective, this professed Christian (Mr. Rader) was never a “true believer” and therefore if he were to die before repenting he would be condemned for all eternity. From a Catholic perspective, we would say Mr. Rader’s original sin was removed when he was baptized (that is, the stain he inherited from Adam was removed), but his lack of obedience to God caused him to lose his justification. The baptist and the Catholic reach the same conclusion.

It isn’t my premise, since I’m not Southern Baptist.

I understand. As I said in my previous response to you, please provide documentation/evidence of your claims about SBC beliefs. If you were a Southern Baptist, I would take your words at face value. Given that you’re not…

The SBC has no official position on the five points of Calvinism.

This is technically true, but this is because the SBC avoids taking official positions on many issues. The president of the SBC released a statement a few years ago (still on their website) saying that he did not hold to the traditional 5 points of Calvinism.

That is left to the local church to deal with. By and large SBC churches are Arminian, but a minority are Calvinistic. Many of the founding documents of the SBC, however, were explicitly Calvinistic in their understanding of the five points (see the Sandy Creek Confession of Faith, and the Abstract of Principles, as well as the writings of the Rev. J. P. Boyce, author of the aforementioned Abstract).

This is dicta…


#17

#18

describe salvation as akin to “inaugurated eschatology.” His point was that although we are already justified by the blood of Christ, the born-again believer must continue to walk with God and serve in obedience to Him. Is this any different than the Catholic position?

What he was essentially saying in his sermon was - yes, you’ve been saved (past event), but you must walk with God (present event) in order to be saved (future event); hence, the comparison to “inaugurated eschatology.” Is what he said entirely different than the Catholic position?

For a Baptist, salvation is not a process. Salvation occurs in a moment as a result of praying the Sinner’s Prayer and can never be lost.

That’s not entirely true Anna. The Southern Baptist – well, at least at the SBC Pastor that leads the church near my home – would disagree with you, and has even said as much.
[/quote]


#19

Isn’t there some variance in Southern Baptist beliefs? As I understand it, SBC churches are completely independent, but have to maintain certain core beliefs. For example, one near my home either hired or was contemplating hiring a woman as a minister and would have to leave the convention. Other beliefs or maybe the interpretation of beliefs were, or so I thought, allowed to vary among the congregations. I grew up in an independent Baptist church, so I am no expert in SBC matters, but I thought there was substantial variations on teachings from church to church.

Would it be possible for one SBC church to be OSAS and another to teach that salvation could be lost?


#20

Correct - the SBC cannot make a oneness claim, and as such cannot make a catholic (small ‘c’) claim. And of course we know they cannot make an apostolic claim.


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