I have reviewed with local pastors several things which could be repeated here to keep the lines of thinking unclogged by unnecessary exclusiveness.
1. I suggest that it would be a better road to travel to enunciate the things we are for and not give a lot of press being against things. It seems to me to identify what we are, rather than what we are not. Somehow it sounds less like we are trying to pick a fight when we just state what we are and what we are about. (No I am not afraid of a fight. I’ve been in more than one.)
2. I want to identify with other Baptists (yes, fundamental, independent, KJV, local church, missionary minded, premillennial, soul winning, separated baptists), but I don’t see how all of our positive beliefs, practices and doctrines can be summed up in one ideal name. Every name has its limitations. But what I am sure of is that I don’t want to be labeled is “one of those guys who used to be a XXX pastor”. There has got to be more that we have in common than the fact that we “used to be something“.
This thought reminds me of those “Ex” Jehovah Witnesses who are more EX JW’s than they are Christians, or church members, or Baptists. All they have in common is the fact that they used to be JW’s. They have annual meetings and seminars.
Their common thread of unity is in the past. They don’t seem like they have come all the way across to a Biblical position. They are just licking their wounds and sympathizing with others who have been “hurt”” and “deceived” like they have. I am not in a pity party. I don’t care what others may say or think. Our common threads are Christ, the Bible and our Baptist heritage. We don’t have to be anybody’s “has beens.”
We are something. We need to identify it as simply as we possibly can and be what we say we are. This will cost us something. I think we need to get past any pettiness that may surface quickly, and charge ahead slowly, but deliberately.
God forbid that we should have to “reinvent the wheel”. Some of the things we are and have been are good things. I for one have not adopted one new doctrine in this process of finding myself with others of common faith and commitment.