A Church Leaving the SBC

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Grant

Puritan Board Senior
A local church, dear to my heart, is planning on leaving the SBC.

The church is Elder Lead and some other distinctives are:

- they are convicted Baptist
- cessationist
- 5 point Calvinist
- open to considering 1689 ( kinda)

Based on the above what are some other solid Baptist denominations they might consider joining ( other than going down the non-denominational denomination road)?:detective:
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
A local church, dear to my heart, is planning on leaving the SBC.

The church is Elder Lead and some other distinctives are:

- they are convicted Baptist
- cessationist
- 5 point Calvinist
- open to considering 1689 ( kinda)

Based on the above what are some other solid Baptist denominations they might consider joining ( other than going down the non-denominational denomination road)?:detective:
They seem to be a good match for becoming a Reformed Baptist Church, based upon their views.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
From what I've seen of a couple of local churches to mean, FIRE seems like a solid group. They're not narrowly confessional like ARBCA (there are Calvinistic dispensationalists there) but they still have more in common than the SBC: https://www.firefellowship.org/

There's been some recent controversy in ARBCA, with many congregations leaving for the RBN. I don't know many details: https://reformedbaptistnetwork.com/
 

Sergeant Will

Puritan Board Freshman
Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)
- The church must fully subscribe to 2nd LBC 1689; only reformed baptist association with an in resident seminary Institute for Reformed Baptist Studies (IRBS).

Reformed Baptist Network (RBN)
- Two tiers of subscription to the 1689 full & associate; came out of ARBCA and allowed baptist churches that didn't fully subscribe to 1689.

Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals (FIRE)
- The church must agree with the FIRE Statement of Association; no requirement of church confession

Spurgeon Baptist Association of Churches (SBAOC)
- Association of Reformed Southern Baptist Churches & affiliated membership for non-Southern Baptist Churches; the church must agree with non-negotiables and expectations.

Some states have looser affiliations such as where I'm at in Indiana, but you have to sort of stumble across these ones. I've been a part of or interacted with all of the above-mentioned groups. If you ever have questions about them send me a message.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
The reasons given are good reasons, I think, for departing from the SBC. However, I don't think they are of enough force to compel a church to depart. After all, there is the Founders "sect" of the SBC, many if not most of which are decidedly confessional and cessationist.
 

SGW

Puritan Board Freshman
ARBCA cannot be trusted.

- In 2000/2001 they failed to report child abuse by Tom Chantry to the police.
- In 2015/2016 they allowed Tom Chantry’s church to join ARBCA while he was under investigation for child molestation. ARBCA knew about the investigation yet failed to disclose this to member churches.
- At the 2017 GA, ARBCA provided an update on the Chantry issue to member churches, telling them that they had handled the situation in accordance with the law. ARBCA did not handle the situation in accordance with the law. They have been involved in a cover-up for the last 18 years.

There is an abundance of evidence available on line to substantiate the above, including court documents, victim testimonies, and reports written by ARBCA themselves. The information is readily available for anyone who wants to know the truth.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
ARBCA, RBN, and FIRE are good matches for a church that is convinced regarding the original Baptist confessions or is otherwise inclined towards strongly conservative positions, such as the family-integrated movement. FIRE allows more wiggle room than the others, but my experience has been that FIRE churches tend toward strong conservatism especially on family issues.

If the church you describe is mostly concerned with Calvinist soteriology and an elder-led model, a less drastic move may be a better fit. My Baptist church is Calvinistic and elder-led, and has had peaceful relations as a part of the Conservative Baptist Association (CBA). There hasn't been any real support to speak of, but at least there is no hostility. If the church you speak is in the south, though, like you are, the CBA may provide little to no fellowship in the immediate area.

These days, I think most Baptist churches with the distinctives you mention end up associating with groups like 9 Marks or Acts 29. Those aren't denominations per se, but in many cases they actually provide more mutual support than do traditional Baptist denominations where the congregational model can result in churches being left alone almost completely.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
ARBCA, RBN, and FIRE are good matches for a church that is convinced regarding the original Baptist confessions or is otherwise inclined towards strongly conservative positions, such as the family-integrated movement. FIRE allows more wiggle room than the others, but my experience has been that FIRE churches tend toward strong conservatism especially on family issues.

If the church you describe is mostly concerned with Calvinist soteriology and an elder-led model, a less drastic move may be a better fit. My Baptist church is Calvinistic and elder-led, and has had peaceful relations as a part of the Conservative Baptist Association (CBA). There hasn't been any real support to speak of, but at least there is no hostility. If the church you speak is in the south, though, like you are, the CBA may provide little to no fellowship in the immediate area.

These days, I think most Baptist churches with the distinctives you mention end up associating with groups like 9 Marks or Acts 29. Those aren't denominations per se, but in many cases they actually provide more mutual support than do traditional Baptist denominations where the congregational model can result in churches being left alone almost completely.
Thanks. The congregation is associated with 9 Marks and I think Founders as well. There are many layers to why they would like to leave the SBC. Two of the reasons I know of are that they oppose supporting Lifeway (rightly so) and do not want the denomination to be associated with the Social Justice Movement. Further, I think they would like more accountability than the SBC provides.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
The congregation is already an outcast in the community because they preach the devil's doctrine (sarcasm) of Calvinism. So if/when they leave the SBC I think it would be good for them to join another denomination for accountability and fellowship outside of their town that has at least 5 other Armenian SBC churches in the area.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
Why is this? Just curious.
To be clear and this is just my opinion: There is substantial evidence that the organization's heads care more about the bottom line than the quality of material presented to the church and the spiritual impact it has on the saints (check out their own website if you would like). The congregation had a few face-to-face sessions with a former board member. I was able to attend some myself. If you need more detail than feel free to PM me.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
I think they would like more accountability

Clearly, they just need to become Presbyterians. ;)

I wonder if the day will come when some major American denomination combines the Presbyterian system of accountability with credo-baptism. Perhaps the Evangelical Free Church? It kinda happens there, but I suspect pre-millennialism and a weak commitment on Calvinist soteriology may make it a no-go.

They should see if there are FIRE churches in their area, and if the accountability/fellowship they seek might work with those churches.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
I will also add and I should not have left this out....the Elders (3) are mixed on CT vs. NCT (none of the three are very dogmatically convicted about it though).
 
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Jake

Puritan Board Senior
Clearly, they just need to become Presbyterians. ;)

I wonder if the day will come when some major American denomination combines the Presbyterian system of accountability with credo-baptism. Perhaps the Evangelical Free Church? It kinda happens there, but I suspect pre-millennialism and a weak commitment on Calvinist soteriology may make it a no-go.


There is the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster/North America which allows both paedo- and credo- baptism positions. The CREC also allows 1689-confessors into their group. I'm not saying either are ideal, but there at least some at least quasi-Presbyterian groups that will include Baptists.
 

Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
ARBCA cannot be trusted.

- In 2000/2001 they failed to report child abuse by Tom Chantry to the police.
- In 2015/2016 they allowed Tom Chantry’s church to join ARBCA while he was under investigation for child molestation.
I have heard about this and it is deeply troubling. But it appears to be difficult to separate fact from fiction.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
One thing does need to be cleared up on this thread. I'm from a long line of Southern Baptists, and I learned at an early age that the SBC isn't a denomination. It's an association.

I can't speak to the other Baptist groups mentioned.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
What to join is kind of a false dilemma: it is an integral part of Baptist polity that churches are independent: we see that in the Bible, just as our Presbyterian friends seem to see the opposite. If they are a Baptist church, they have no biblical warrant for forming denominations or having formal association.
Christ the Head of the church gives leaders to every assembly--we Baptists believe that this is sufficient, without forming Assemblies or Synods or Councils.
No offense to Presbyterian's who see this differently--just saying how confessional baptists roll.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Avoid ARBCA like the plague.

They have sheltered a child abuser and covered up his abuses, allowing him to teach and take a second church. Churches and members are leaving en masse. I have cancelled all missionary support from ARBCA churches and cut all ties with them.

Try the RB Network or FIRE (Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals).
 

De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
What to join is kind of a false dilemma: it is an integral part of Baptist polity that churches are independent: we see that in the Bible, just as our Presbyterian friends seem to see the opposite. If they are a Baptist church, they have no biblical warrant for forming denominations or having formal association.
Christ the Head of the church gives leaders to every assembly--we Baptists believe that this is sufficient, without forming Assemblies or Synods or Councils.
No offense to Presbyterian's who see this differently--just saying how confessional baptists roll.

What about Acts 15?
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
The news is public. The trial was public. It is an appriopriate topic.
Maybe it would be better to "go no further" on this thread about the controversy. I am grateful for being informed, as I was unaware. I think enough info has been provided thus far, regarding ARBCA, to NOT recommend them.
 
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Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Based on the above what are some other solid Baptist denominations they might consider joining ( other than going down the non-denominational denomination road)?:detective:

By their very nature, Baptist churches are independent, so plugging them into a denomination really doesn't work.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
I see no reason they must formally associate with any extra-ecclesial body. Let them maintain fellowship with churches of like faith and order. Especially those closest to them geographically. Let them be intentional about cultivating this fellowship by regular prayer for those churches and their pastors; having their ministers to preach in their pulpit; financially supporting those churches when needs arise; cooperating together in missions and church planting; and by seeking-out their advice and counsel in difficult matters.
 
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