Baptists: One Of The Largest Protestant Analyst Protestant Free Church Monations In The United States

Submitted By hern0025
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The Baptists are one of the largest Protestant Free Church denominations. At the turn of the 21st century there were about 43 million Baptists worldwide. 33 million of those are in the United States alone. There are over 850,000 Baptists in South America, 230,000 in Central America and the Caribbean, and 216,000 in Britain. As indicated by their name, the primary Baptist distinctive is their practice of believer's baptism and corresponding rejection of infant baptism. Most Baptists are evangelical in doctrine, but Baptist beliefs can vary due to the congregational governance system that gives autonomy to individual local Baptist churches. Historically, Baptists have played a key role in encouraging religious freedom and separation of church and state. In the United States, the two largest Baptist organizations are the Southern Baptist Churches (SBC) and American Baptist Churches (ABC), with the latter being the more conservative branch. Notable Baptists have included Martin Luther King, Jr., Charles Spurgeon, John Bunyan and Billy Graham.
There are five pillars of understanding in the Baptist religion. These five pillars map out the history of God: the belief in the never ending kingdom of God, the gospels of Matthew and Mark, the revelation of Paul’s gospel, and the gospels of Luke and John. They are referred to as these four titles: Son of Man, Son of God, Son of Abraham, and Son of David. Baptists often refer to themselves as "people of the Book," with "the Book" being the sixty-six books of the Christian Bible. The Sacraments that they have are, Fruit of the Vine and Bread, which is grape juice and ceremonial bread.
The doctrine of justification by faith states that it is by faith alone that we receive salvation, and not through any works of our own. Baptists place a strong emphasis on the concept of salvation. Baptist theology teaches that humans have been contaminated by the sin of Adam and Eve's rebellion against God and that for this sin we are condemned to damnation. The theology holds that Christ died on the cross to give humans the promise of everlasting life, but that this requires that each individual accept Christ into his life and ask for forgiveness. Nevertheless, the Baptist view of salvation runs the gamut from Calvinism to Arminianism. Justification by faith is a position shared by all post-reformation Christian groups. Because of the congregational style of church governance on doctrine, the doctrine often varies significantly between one Baptist church and another. This is especially similar in the following areas: Calvinism vs. Arminianism, nature of Law and Gospel, ordination of women, homosexuality, and eschatology (end times). Baptists generally believe in the literal Second Coming of Christ at which time God will sit in judgment and divide humanity between the saved and the lost (the Great White Throne judgment Book of Revelation 20:11) and Christ will sit in judgment of the believers (the Judgment Seat of Christ Second Epistle to the Corinthians 5:10), rewarding them for things done while alive. Amillennialism, Dispensationaliism, and historic Premillennialism stand as the main eschatological views of Baptists. Views such as postmillennialism and preterism receive only scant support.
The format of a Baptist Sunday service consists of the choir, devotion (psalms, scripture, message, prayer, and song), responsive readings, congregational prayer, choir, sermon, and invitation to join the church, offering, and then special announcements. Each month a different part of the church is in charge of the prayer service. They receive Eucharistic (communion) by the Pastor or Deacon, taking it down to the isles and distributing it. Communion is distributed to “everyone who is saved.” As stated before the body and blood of Christ is very symbolic to the Baptists. The Believer's baptism is an ordinance performed after a person professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and is symbolic of the cleansing or