GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Introducing Southern Baptists©
C. B. Hastings
TOC Forward Chapter 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Aftward Appendix Glossary FAQ Bibliography (Start
- 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
- 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.
- the first level of
cooperation among Baptist churches in relatively small
geographical regions (such as a county in areas with
large Baptist population).
- 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."
- 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."
- baptism administered only to
those who have made public profession of faith in Christ
and requested baptism for themselves.
- a formal agreement of loyalty
and support of the local congregation and its ministries,
adopted at the organizational meeting of a new church.
- the restricting of giving
communion only to those who are members of the local
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- a system of interpretation of
the Scriptures which divides human history into seven
"ages" or periods, during which God tests
mankind under differing "covenants."
- one's public testimony of how
he became a Christian; most often used of candidates for
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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
- MAKE CONFESSION OF FAITHMAKE
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
- 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.
- 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 will come at the end of the thousand year
- 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
- 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
- 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").
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
Library of Congress Number: 81-80052