Hi all. My stepmom and dad are general baptists. They had to agree to the tenants of the general baptists before they could join their church, so here’s my questions… just so you know I’ve asked them these questions and usually get glares from my (fairly anti-Catholic) dad and “we just do … I’m tolerant of your beliefs even though I don’t agree with them – do the same for me” from my stepmom.
Why don’t they believe in the trinity and are there any references I can give them to encourage acceptance of the trinity?
Why do they say they believe in that Jesus is present in their form of communion?
Why do they accept the bible as total truth like it’s always been around?
How can they justify basing their faith only on a book that they apparently don’t even know the copyright of?
And finally, what’s wrong with wine and calling a priest “father”?
Positive! I went to church with them two weeks ago when I was visiting home and they were having a bible study (i.e. debate over how to interpret certain passages). The church members were arguing about a certain passage that didn’t pose an issue to me because of the trinity doctrin so I asked if they believed in the trinity. Several people laughed and said the trinity was a man made thing that wasn’t in the bible anywhere so they don’t believe in it. I read over the tenates (sp?) of faith for the general baptists and didn’t see anywhere that denied the trinity which is why I am confused.
When you write that they belive that Christ is present in their form of communion, I believe that it’s a looser symbolic “present” than we as Catholics believe. They reject the doctrine of transubstantiation – our foundational faith in the sacrament that the bread and wine is transformed into the actual body and blood of the Savior, not merely that it “represents” or “reminds us” or “symbolizes” the sacrifice of the Lord for our salvation. Because of this, the role of “communion” in their tradition is less central than it is to the Catholic faith. I am not a priest. This is my lay interpretation.
there are literally dozens of sects who use the name “Baptist” as part of their designation, and their beliefs are all over the map. Some have valid baptism, some do not, so just the word “Baptist” does not give enough info about the denomination and its beliefs and practices. Unless some member of that sect answers here, OP will have to ask his parents for that info
btw, this is not a legal opinion, but: although various translations of biblical texts may be copyrighted, the original works of the authors are public domain. any applicable copyright statute has certainly expired.
It seems that this group is not a legitimate Baptist church. Sorry for the delay in my answer.
If the group reads the King James Version, or even the New King James Version. You can point them to I John 5:7 “there are three that bear witness in Heaven the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these Three are One”
See also John 1:1-14. Verse 14 shows us the Word made into flesh. The Word is Jesus, ask the “baptists” who the Word is that was made into flesh. If they admit the Word is Jesus who was made flesh, they are compelled to admit that “the Word was with God and the Word was God” therefore Jesus=God.
Jesus’ Deity goes hand in hand with the Trinity. If Jesus accepted worship from Thomas who called Him “my Lord and my God” and Jesus accepted worship from others throughout His life. Evidence that He is God.
I did ask my parents and they provided no answers which is why I’m asking here now. If you go to the general baptist website and look up their statement of beliefs online that is pretty much what this little church has as their tenants of beliefs (few minor wording differences in that the gen baptist online is more politically correct by not using the term “idiots”). I attended the baptism of my father last year and they used the trinitarian (father, son, holy ghost) formula which is why their denial of the trinity was so surprising to me. But you are right that baptists are all over the place - I was just hoping someone here could shed a little light on thier beliefs since the parents are not willing/able to do so.
I googled “General Baptist Church” and found this statement of faith that STARTS OUT with the Trinity. Sounds like your Bible study group has decided that THEIR Holy Spirit is bigger than the Holy Spirit of the General Baptist Church.
When I used the word coopyright, I didn’t mean legally copyrighted. I was trying to point out there was a long time between when Jesus was alive and when the bible was actually put together. They conveniently ignore that fact and assume the bible was always around.
I KNOW!!! And that is what they say they believe. That is why I asked the question in the first place. How can an entire church congregation say they believe what is written there - and they do say that - and then deny the trinity 3 in one in the next breath? One man said that they believe in the Father, in Jesus (which did miracles only because the Father enabled him to – no divine nature here only man according to the way I understood him), and in the Holy Ghost which is a spirit which comes from the Father to help guide his flock on earth.
What is their religious background?
Have they always been protestant?
Has your dad always been Anti-Catholic?
You’re in a difficult position if they don’t want to talk about these things. Then your best bet is to just live a good life, demonstrate that your dad’s anti-catholic views are incorrect and watch for cracks in the wall.
As far as the sola - scriptura issue goes:
First is the issue of interpretation. Your follow-up post illistrates this.
I went to church with them two weeks ago when I was visiting home and they were having a bible study (i.e. debate over how to interpret certain passages). The church members were arguing about a certain passage that didn’t pose an issue to me because of the trinity doctrin so I asked if they believed in the trinity
If The Bible is all that is needed, then why were they arguing over the interpretation of scripture. Why are there so many different denominations all with different beliefs and all claiming sola-scriptura.
Try to get them to see how shaky sola-scriptura really is.
During the first 300 years of Christianity there was no Bible.
So how did the Apostles and those who followed know what was correct?
The Gospel was spread primarily verbally.
Any reference to Scripture int the NT refers to the OT.
What Group put together the Canon of the Bible.
Why are there fewer books in the Protestant Bible?
I like your principle of discernment outside the Church
Yes, I’ve asked them. My dad just glares (he does that a lot) and says they just do. My stepmom says basically the same (minus the glare). Basically they just do because it’s the Bible – you simply have to believe it because it’s the Bible… duh :shrug:
I am fully aware of the questionable nature of I John 5:7, that is why I used the implication that if these “baptists” use the King James Version. Because the Trinity verse is very clear from the Textus Receptus. I personally rely more upon the Textus Vaticanus or Textus Sinaiticus. However I do believe in the Trinity.
It is just a very simple verse concerning the Trinity in King James Version.