A Courageous Association

Posted on October 20, 2010

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Yesterday, the association I am a part of (Cimarron Baptist Association) passed a resolution affirming Baptist Church Polity.  Various reasons were given for the resolution, but one main reason was the need to have a dialog on the issue of Baptist Polity concerning many different polities that are making inroads to our churches in the SBC.  Below is the resolution:

WHEREAS, The Bible remains the standard by which we should judge all doctrines, confessions, and practices; and

WHEREAS, in our articles of faith it states we are an association of Baptist churches which “believes in and subscribes to the statement printed in the 2000 session of the Southern Baptist Convention which met in Orlando Florida,” The Baptist Faith and Message; and

WHEREAS, the Baptist Faith and Message states, “A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers” and “Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes”; and

WHEREAS the congregational form of church polity originates from and helps preserve the cherished doctrine of “priesthood of all believers” that affirms believers as having direct access to God so that they may “prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Rom 12:2; 1 Peter 2:9; and

WHEREAS we also affirm pastors and deacons as the two scriptural officers of the church who serve as spiritual servant leaders of the church, never coming between the Lordship of Christ over His church. 1 Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; and

WHEREAS, scripture affirms church polity that does not put a person or a ruling body between the direct authority of Christ over the church; Matt 18:15-20; Acts 6:1-6, 13:2-3; 1 Cor 5:4-5; 2 Cor 2:6-8; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED that the messengers to the 2010 Cimarron Baptist Associational Annual Meeting at Western Heights Baptist Church in Cleveland Oklahoma affirms our stated belief in a local autonomous New Testament Church operating under the Lordship of Christ; and be it further

RESOLVED that we appreciate and honor the scriptural pattern of God called pastors and deacons who serve and lead our churches; and be it further

RESOLVED that any system of church government that has any body or person who stands in direct authority over the congregation, usurping the direct authority of Christ over His church, denies each church member his/her responsibility and accountability to Christ as Lord; and be it finally

RESOLVED that as an association of Baptist churches, we desire to support church plants and missions that agree with our doctrinal statements both in belief and practice.

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