GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Introducing Southern Baptists©
C. B. Hastings
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ALIEN IMMERSION
a term, not so commonly used today, for the acceptance by the church of a member who was immersed after confession of faith by other than a Baptist church.
ANABAPTISTS
during the Reformation any of several groups who insisted on "rebaptizing" believers on the basis of "believer's baptism" only. They are spiritual forebears, but not organizationally linked with the later Baptists. Their descendants today are Mennonites.
ASSOCIATION
the first level of cooperation among Baptist churches in relatively small geographical regions (such as a county in areas with large Baptist population).
BABY DEDICATION
the practice of some Baptist churches of having a special service of dedicating parents and new babies to the Lord. It does not equal infant baptism, but it does pledge the parents to "raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
BE CONVERTED
to experience salvation in Christ when one is "turned to Jesus" by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit using the Word of God and the testimony/preaching of Christians.
BE SAVED
to experience the beginning of the Christian life in the New Birth, accompanied by a sense of the forgiveness of sin, the love of Christ, and "love for the brethren."
BELIEVER'S BAPTISM
baptism administered only to those who have made public profession of faith in Christ and requested baptism for themselves.
CHURCH COVENANT
a formal agreement of loyalty and support of the local congregation and its ministries, adopted at the organizational meeting of a new church.
CLOSED COMMUNION
the restricting of giving communion only to those who are members of the local congregation.
COMPETENCY OF THE SOUL
every human being is endowed by the Creator with the inalienable right and capacity to deal directly with God in all matters of religious faith and practice.
A CONFESSION OF FAITH
a statement of beliefs and practices drawn up by a church or association of churches for the purpose of identifying the doctrinal stance of that particular group of Baptists at that stated time.
COOPERATIVE PROGRAM
the plan adopted in 1925 by the Southern Baptist Convention (and entered into later by state conventions) by which all of the missions, educational and benevolent programs are supported through a unified budget. The Cooperative Program does not include the Sunday School Board, which supports itself and provides field services through its publishing business.
DISPENSATIONALISM
a system of interpretation of the Scriptures which divides human history into seven "ages" or periods, during which God tests mankind under differing "covenants."
EXPERIENCE OF GRACE
one's public testimony of how he became a Christian; most often used of candidates for ordination.
GENERAL BAPTISTS
those who hold to the "general" view of the Atonement of Christ, i.e., that Christ's offer of salvation is available to all mankind, and its acceptance is a matter of the free will of each individual. (This is not to be confused with the Free Will Baptists, who also teach that a saved person can be lost through grievous, unrepented sin.)
GROWTH IN GRACE
the development after "being saved": the continuing work of God's salvation that enables the believer's new life in union with Christ to develop through the grace of God. This grace operates through prayer, Bible study, ministering to others, "witnessing," worship and mutual support by other Christians. This progress in Christian maturity is a matter of individual desire and community support by the church.
HYPER-CALVINISTS
those followers (not necessarily Baptist) of the Reformer, John Calvin, who took his teachings to the logical conclusions of predestination, that is, that every person in the world is "chosen" by God in advance either for salvation or damnation.
JOIN THE CHURCH BY STATEMENT
to present oneself for membership in a local congregation on one's statement that he/sue has been at one time a baptized member of a Baptist church, whose records are no longer available to provide "a church letter."
LANDMARKISM
a movement begun in the nineteenth century among Baptists that among other tenets holds that Baptists constitute the only true Church and that there exists a baptismal succession all the way back to the New Testament churches.
LICENSE TO PREACH
a letter of commendation to churches of like faith and order" commending a new candidate for the ministry. This is preliminary to ordination, which must be called for by some particular local church.
MAKE CONFESSION OF FAITH—MAKE PROFESSION OF FAITH
usually at the close of a preaching service during the singing of a hymn of invitation to present oneself to the minister before the congregation proclaiming one's repentance and faith and (usually) requesting baptism and full membership in the local congregation. Sometimes the terms are used when the confession is made privately or in a group apart from a service in the church.
MESSENGERS to an Association/Convention
these are members elected by a local church to "sit" at the Association or Convention annual meeting. Since the local church retains its full autonomy, "messengers" are not"delegates" to rem resent the will of the congregation, nor can they bind the latter by any vote of the annual meeting.
MILLENNIUM/MILLENARIAN
one who believes that at the second coming of Christ a thousand year period of peace under the rule of Christ will take place on earth (This is the "premillennial" view. Others hold that the millennium is either a symbol for the whole era between the first and second comings of Christ—"amillennialism"—or that Christ will come at the end of the thousand year period—"postmillennialism").
MOVE ONE'S MEMBERSHIP
"join the church by letter": to change affiliation with a local congregation upon a (standard) letter of recommendation from former congregation that the member is in "good standing," i.e., not subject to discipline or expulsion.the
ORDINANCE
term used of baptism and the Lord's Supper rather than "sacrament." These are the only two religious rites Baptists hold that Jesus "ordered" to be practiced in perpetuity by the Church.
PARTICULAR BAPTISTS
those who hold to the "particular" view of the atonement of Christ, i.e., that only those will be saved who are predestined by God unto salvation. This is usually associated with "irresistible grace" and thus denies the role of the human will in salvation. Southern Baptists, generally known as "modified Calvinists," believe that God "elects" people unto salvation by taking the initiative toward them, but that such election is not irresistible. Since it must be a matter of response by the human will, Southern Baptists believe in evangelism and missions (as over against "primitive Baptist Churches").
POLITY
the way in which a church or denomination structures its organization and carries out its practice. Historically the three most common polities are: hierarchical (Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican), presbyterial (Presbyterian churches), and congregational (Baptist, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ).
PRESBYTERY
the group of pastors and deacons who are invited by a local congregation to examine a candidate for ordination and make recommendation to the church concerning the wisdom of ordaining such a person.
REGENERATION
the new birth engendered by the Holy Spirit whenever a sinner repents of sin toward God and commits himself/herself in faith to Jesus as Savior and Lord.
SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER
the assurance given by the Word of God and the inner witness of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8 16) that salvation is fully guaranteed by the gift of God and cannot be lost short of actual renunciation of Jesus as Savior and Lord.
SEPARATISTS
English believers following the Reformation who became dissatisfied with the doctrines and practices of the established Church (Anglican). They included the Puritans, Baptists, and other congregational groups.
SOULWINNING/WITNESSING
telling others how to be saved, usually including how one became a Christian. Most often done by one or two with one who is not yet a believer.
UNSAVED/UNREGENERATE
those who have never been "born again" whether or not they have membership in any church or denomination.

Tuesday, December 29, 1998

©Copyright 1998 All rights Reserved. C.B Hastings
Text was scanned and OCRed from Introducing Southern Baptist ©Paulist, Press 1981.
ISBN: 0-8091-2364-9
Library of Congress Number: 81-80052
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