To start with, I want to thank you for your web site, particularly the questions and answers section. It is well organized and presents a strong knowledge base, which I am now wanting to draw from.
I am a member of the church of Christ and have been using your information on denominations to help me with addressing different beliefs and why certain ones are wrong. Right now I am wanting to ask you for some information on the Primitive Baptists. I have looked at some of their web sites, and on the surface, they seem a lot like church of Christ. However, there are differences that I noticed while delving in. They use confessions of faith, alcoholic wine, and their baptism appears to be to join the church, not as a part of becoming a disciple, among others. Any help on finding some more information would be great.
Thank you for your time.
From "Primitive Baptist Beliefs and Practices" by Jack Zavada
"Baptism - Baptism is the means of induction into the church, according to Scripture. Primitive Baptist elders conduct baptisms and rebaptize a person who has been baptized by another denomination. Infant baptism is not conducted."
Baptism does put a person into the church (Acts 2:41), but it is also is means by which a person is saved: "Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 3:21). That salvation is the forgiveness of sins. "Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). Those sins are washed way in baptism. "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).
"Bible - The Bible is inspired by God and is the sole rule and authority for faith and practice in the church. The King James Version of the Bible is the only holy text recognized in Primitive Baptist churches."
"Predestination - God has predestinated (chosen) a number of elect to be conformed to the image of Jesus. Only those people will be saved"
"Those who are not among the elect have no inclination at all toward God and heaven. The elect are predestinated through Christ's sacrifice for them on the cross and are eternally secure."
"Limited Atonement - One of the doctrines that sets Primitives apart is Limited Atonement, or Particular Redemption. They hold that the Bible says Jesus died to save only his elect, a specific number of people who can never be lost. He did not die for everyone. Since all of his elect are saved, he is a "completely successful Savior.""
"Ministry - Ministers are males only and are called "Elder," based on biblical precedent."
"Missionaries - Primitive Baptist beliefs say the elect will be saved by Christ and Christ alone. Missionaries cannot "save souls." Mission work is not mentioned in Scripture in the gifts of the church in Ephesians 4:11."
While I agree that missionary societies are wrong, the Primitive Baptists miss the fact that it is the duty of Christians to spread the word of God. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen" (Matthew 28:19-20). The word "evangelist" means messenger of good news and is used in Ephesians 4:11-12.
"Salvation - Only Christ's elect will be saved. Salvation is totally by God's grace; works play no part. Those who express an interest or curiosity in Christ are members of the elect, because no one comes to salvation on their own initiative. Primitives believe in eternal security for the elect: once saved, always saved."
Thanks for such a quick response. This information will be helpful. It's hard to talk to someone without knowing in depth what their beliefs are.