Easy Answers to Hard Questions:  

1. Can a divorced man pastor an independent Baptist Church?

2. Is Contemporary Christian Music an acceptable form of worship in an independent Baptist church?
3. Do Baptist pastors have the authority to invite speakers into their pulpits who are unwilling to accept the Baptist identification?
4. Does an independent Baptist pastor have any Scriptural mandate to lead his church, as a body, into the political arena? 
5. Should an independent Baptist Church be incorporated? 
 

Q. “Can a divorced man, with a living (ex)wife,  be a pastor of an independent Baptist church?”

“NO” 

A. “A bishop then must be blameless: 1 Tim. 3:2 (“not to be caught anywhere by an antagonist (used in wrestling)” (Bullinger)).  The thought is of having “no handles” by which an opponent can catch hold: Titus 1:6-7 (“unaccused, free from any legal charge [in court]” (Zodhiates)).    
Divorce causes handles, no matter the circumstances.  Carnal Christians will use yours to justify theirs.  The world will use it to bring reproach on Christ’s church.  The church member's will us it to compromise your message.  Though the sin of divorce (Mal. 2:14-16) is forgivable, its consequences extend into the pastoral ministry until the death of the divorced wife.

Q.  Is Contemporary Christian Music an acceptable form of worship in an independent Baptist church?

“NO” 

A.  Contemporary = “happening at the same time; present-day.”

God’s standard for church music is found in Ephesians 5:18-19. Our music is an indication with what we are “filled.”  God commands that independent Baptist churches (and its members) be filled with the Spirit, and not with the world (“wine”). 
What does God accept in music?  Psalms (O.T. songs of praise to God).  Hymns (Scripture(al) songs of praise to God).  Spiritual songs (Doctrinally correct, Spirit motivated and approved songs that glorify and praise God).  Songs that lodge in the heart (inner man), not the mind (intellect or emotion).  Songs with a melody (appeals to the spirit), and not a beat (appeals to the flesh) (v19).  A song that brings thankfulness to God, not an excuse to the flesh (v20)  

Q. Do Baptist pastors have the authority to invite speakers into their pulpits who are unwilling to accept the Baptist identification? 

"No" 

A. Our churches’ authority to exist comes from God through John the Baptist; passed on through Christ to the disciples, which was passed down through the centuries.  Our Lord built His church to reflect Himself— distinct, unique, separate—(Matt. 16:13-20), which church(es) is His body(ies) and representative(s) on earth.  To invite non Baptists into a Baptist pulpit is to deny what Jesus built, to deny His distinctness, and to deny His authority (Matt. 28:16-20).  It says to the church, “Obedience to Christ’s first command (baptism/membership in a scriptural Baptist church) is up to men and not really that important.”  It says to the disobedient, “We accept your disobedience, recognize your authority, and welcome you into our pulpit.”  May it not be so!!   

Q. Does an independent Baptist pastor have any Scriptural mandate to lead his church, as a body, into the political arena? 

"No" 

A. The churches of Jesus Christ are no where commanded to change political systems, but are commanded to go into all the world and make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20).  As bodies of Christ, Baptist churches represent Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world, and the world’s need is not reformation, but salvation. 
But as Christians, each individual has a responsibility to protect and promote man’s unalienable rights as given by God.  Where governments seek to enslave, individuals have the duty to protest, and if necessary, overthrow those that seek to deprive men of life, liberty, or property (pursuit of happiness).

Q. Should an independent Baptist Church be incorporated? 

“No” 

A. Incorporation is a State license which creates a separate “person,” relieving individuals of liability, and making them accountable to the State.  “In civil law, it is the union of one domain to another.”  Biblically, it is the conversion of the body of Christ into a serf of the State.  It includes the State as an “interested party” in the affairs of the church.  Therefore, the State now has the “right” to protect the “public interest” in matters of the church.  It is the joining of Christ’s body to a harlot (1 Cor. 6:15).  It is the admixture of light & darkness, righteousness & unrighteousness, believers & unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14; Eph 5:11; 6:12).  It is wrong.

Q. Should a high profile independent Baptist preacher be allowed to escape church discipline?

"No"

A.

Return to the top of this page

The Fundamental Top 500