Monday, January 19, 2009

Baptists are not Reformed


I agree with the Pedobaptists who scorn the idea that Baptists who hold to Calvinistic theology are "Reformed." That term belongs to the Pedobaptists who (1) sprinkle babies for baptism according to their notion about the Abrahamic covenant and (2) practice the presbyterian form of church government.

I think the term "Reformed" gained popular usage among some Baptists who were influenced in the latter 1900s by the Pedobaptists identified with the Banner of Truth publication company based in Great Britain. To really and truly be Reformed, according to that version of Christianity, it seems that you not only must hold to the Hybrid form of Calvinism, but you must also hold to infant baptism and presybyterian church government.

And wherever this has been attempted to be at least partially implemented, it has ordinarily caused internal strife and even open division. Ernest Reisinger of the Founders tried to make a "reformed" church out of a Southern Baptist church in Florida, and the ultimate result was its demise.

I have also observed that when a church has adopted the term "Reformed," it has been necessary to explain "What is meant by 'Reformed?'" One church of my acquaintence at one time used the term in its church name, but decided to drop it because of having to do so much explaining.

Why would a Baptist church which is professedly committed to a "regenerated church membership" standard blemish itself by using the term "Reformed" which implies the baptism of unregenerate infants and admitting the infants to church membership?

Baptists should leave the word "Reformed" where it came from -- the Pedobaptists.

At The Calvinist Flyswatter, read "Lydia's open heart."

1 comment:

  1. I agree that Baptists are not Reformed, although I agree with John Quincy Adams that the Baptists are the only thorough Reformers!

    When I was a paedobaptist Reformed Presbyterian I didn't think the label Reformed or even Calvinist was appropriate for Baptists. (What would Calvin think of Baptist Calvinists?) I am now a Baptist, but my opinion hasn't changed on the matter. I tend to say "I'm Calvinistic but not Calvinist" but given the connotations of these various terms today, that usually just leads to confusion if not suspicion that saying you're Calvinistic but not a Calvinist is an attempt at obfuscation.