Reformed Baptist Fellowship

I am so thankful to be a Reformed Baptist.

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on February 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I am so thankful to be a Reformed Baptist.  Of course, when I first heard of the name on a tape from the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church I pulled out of a small display at a Christian bookstore many years ago, I had to find a “handbook on denominations” to figure out what it meant.  Our tribe is growing, but we have a lot of room for growth.  But I am thankful to be a part of our small tribe.

Now I know many see us, to borrow Verduin’s phrase, as the stepchildren of the Reformers.  Some refuse us even the term Reformed.  Our retirement plans are not nearly as good as some others, that is for certain.  Our conferences do not seem nearly as large and flashy either.  But that is alright.

I am thankful to be a Reformed Baptist for many reasons. Today, being an elder in a Reformed Baptist church means I get to meet and minister with some of the best preachers and teachers I know, men like Jim Renihan, Richard Barcellos, and Sam Waldron.  I have the honor, and the privilege, of ministering in sister churches all across the landscape, and our unity of spirit and faith is encouraging. But the main reason I am thankful to be a Reformed Baptist comes from the work to which the Lord has called me.  Over the past nearly two decades now I have engaged in over sixty formal, moderated public debates with the leading apologists representing Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostalism, and of late, Islam.  Those debates have forced me to engage objections to the Christian faith on every level, from biblical sufficiency to the Trinity to the cross to justification and everything in between.  And that is why I am thankful to be a Reformed Baptist.  Why?  Because of the consistency of our faith.  One’s apologetic can be no stronger than the consistency of the faith it defends.  And when I call my opponents to consistency, I can do so with a clear mind and a clear conscience, because I know of no statement of the Christian faith more consistent, more thorough-going, than that we as Reformed Baptists profess.  When I challenge Rome’s errors on the basis of her traditions, I know my faith consistently confesses sola scriptura and presents a meaningful doctrine of inspiration and perspicuity.  When I challenge Mormonism’s false gods, I know my faith presents a thorough biblical Trinitarianism.  When I meet the best Jehovah’s Witnesses have to offer in battle, I know I as a Reformed Baptist confess the truth about Jesus Christ, drawn from a consistent interpretation of God’s inspired Word.  And when I combat the Islamic apologist who stands upon Surah 4:157 and its denial of the crucifixion of Christ, I can provide a consistent, biblical, and historically accurate, defense of the centrality of the cross of Christ.  And when I stand before men like Bishop John Shelby Spong and engage his defense of homosexuality in the name of “Christianity,” I can boldly proclaim God’s truth, God’s law, God’s provision in Christ.  And what truly makes me thankful is the fact that I do not have to shift my methodologies or beliefs to respond to each of these groups, or any others.  I could not do so even if I wanted to (out of simple loyalty to the truth), but given the consistency of my Reformed Baptist faith, I do not need to anyway.  And that is why I am thankful to be a Reformed Baptist.

So the next time you eye the big fancy church down the road on your way to your Reformed Baptist church, consider this: the value of the consistency of divine truth, the treasure of having a firm foundation upon which to live a God-honoring life, is truly priceless.

James White
Alpha and Omega Ministries

 

 

  1. Hear, Hear! I could not agree more! Those in my Reformed Baptist Church in Ontario, CA have heard me say that it took two years for me to even realize that our church is in a metal building because I was so engulfed, from the day we stepped into it, by the reverence and honor for God and the adherence to preaching His truth.

    John 8:32 – “and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

    We are only set free to the degree that the truths to which we hold are able to take us. I have seen numbers of people get that “kicked in the stomach” feeling when their Christian faith meets the sovereignty of God head on for the first time. The enormity of truly facing a holy, sovereign, Most High God, who has the jurisdiction to choose His people, is staggering in light of who we know ourselves to be as sinners. However, it is this very doctrine of God’s great love, which chooses a people unto Himself for His glory and His pleasure, that truly sets us free, by exposing the reality that it is He who both calls and keeps us for His own. We simply need to get our heads around the fact that all of creation serves Him and not us.

    What a wonderful opportunity we have to be able to say with confidence that we know the God who is not who WE think He is, but who is who HE says He is to anyone who finds themselves willing to inquire, discuss or debate it. His truth is so precious and is to be valued above all else.

    I, too, am thankful for the day that the Lord revealed to me that the doctrines I had believed wholeheartedly, but struggled to identify for a number of years, were being taught by “Reformed Baptists” – and with all of my heart, on that day, I wanted to be one… Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us today – it reminds me not to take for granted the gift of a truth-filled pulpit.

    John 8:36 – “So if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed!”

    Praise the name of Jesus, our great I AM ~
    John 8:58

  2. Eighteen years have passed since I first joined a Reformed Baptist Church. I could hardly believe what I saw and heard then. Since then, I’ve grown in my understanding, and I trust in my practice. But one thing has never changed – I too am thankful to be a Reformed Baptist.

  3. I’m grateful to be in this tribe as well even with the retirement package! Many thanks to you Dr. White for this article, your courage, zeal and excellence to take on anyone anywhere always amazes me. I’m so thankful for those servants who are on the front line ready to battle with the sword of the Spirit. All glory to God!

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