What is a Baptist?

I am a Baptist.  I was born into the Baptist church, I made a profession of faith and was baptized when I was a teenager, and my family and I spend our Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings with a warm and loving Baptist community of faith that has a heart for authentic worship and needs-based ministries. I value the traditional Baptist distinctives of soul competency, church autonomy, the priesthood of the believer, and the separation of church and state. Being a Baptist is a part of my identity, and I do not apologize for it.

However, there are those who feel that I should.  For them, “Baptist” is a pejorative label.     

In the recent New Baptist Covenant convocation in Atlanta, John Grisham explained why this belief exists. He also explained why it is important for critics not to paint with too broad a brush. Watch this video. Then move on to Jimmy Carter’s, and Tony Campolo’s, and William Shaw’s. Even Bill Clinton’s.

You just might find that “Baptist” does not mean what you think it does.

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