Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Independent. Fundamental. Baptist.

What does it mean?

Independent - committed to the autonomy of the local assembly, being free from denominational or other outside control.

Baptist -
Biblical authority
Autonomy of the local church
Priesthood of all believers
Two ordinances
-Believer's baptism
-Lord's Supper
Individual soul liberty
Separation of church and state
Two offices

OK. So we have "Independent" and "Baptist" down. What about "fundamental"?

Ah, this one is sort of tricky because of all the _baggage_ associated with fundamentalism nowdays. We have enough splinter groups among IFBs with their own distinctives that it is easy to get confused.
If we are to be honest, historically, we recognize fundamentalism as the response to the modernism prevalent at the end of the 19th century. The basic affirmations of fundamentalism in response to modernism can be found in the Confession of Faith produced at the Niagara Bible Conference of 1878:

1. The verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scriptures in the original manuscripts.
2. The trinity.
3. The creation of man, the fall into sin, and total depravity.
4. The universal transmission of spiritual death from Adam.
5. The necessity of the new birth.
6. Redemption by the blood of Christ.
7. Salvation by faith alone in Jesus Christ.
8. The assurance of salvation.
9. The centrality of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures.
10. The true church made up of genuine believers.
11. The personality of the Holy Spirit.
12. The believer’s call to a holy life.
13. The souls of believers go immediately to be with Christ at death.
14. The premillennial second coming of Christ.

Nothing yet about KJVOism. Aside from the general call to holiness, we don't see music or dress as touchstone issues, either.

So we see what it means to be IFB at it's core. Actually, "fundamentalist" and "evangelical" refer to the same thing.
Then there is the rise of the new, or "neo-" evangelical. The issue over this split was ecclesiastical separation. Not holiness/personal separation. Thus the confusion over what a neo-evangelical was/is. The idea of the neo-evangelical was to infiltrate modernist churches and so cause them to see the truth, but it didn't work. In the process, holiness/personal separation was unquestionably compromised, but this was the result, and not the aim.

So we do have to add one thing to the list of what it means to be IFB- ecclesiastical separation. Such is the lesson of history.

More later, perhaps.

1 comment:

perte16 said...
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