An Effect on Pastoral leadership –
When a church drops the name “Baptist,” it may expect to have a change in the type of man who would be interested in the pastorate. Men who are more inclusive will be inclined to gravitate to such a church. Some will proclaim themselves to be baptistic in their views, but they do not wish to be identified as Baptists. It is interesting that persons who do not wish to be called Baptist are nevertheless anxious to be known as baptistic. The name must have some value! Men of strong Baptist convictions will normally not accept the pastorate of a church that does not openly proclaim itself to be a Baptist Church. This leaves the church vulnerable to the leadership of men of lesser convictions regarding Baptist principles.
Churches that drop the name “Baptist” will be more inclined, as time goes on, to broaden their sphere of fellowship. Without that name a church begins to look upon itself as more “evangelical,” with a broader base of fellowship.
The convictions we hold are not merely “denominational prejudices.” They are divinely revealed truths rooted in the holy scriptures. Let us not apologize for them but preach them and teach them in the power of the Spirit so that future generations may continue to faithfully stand by them.
We trace our Baptist heritage to the Lord Jesus Christ and his disciples. We are not Protestants: we are Baptist. May God help us to be true to the wonderful heritage he has handed to us.
Excerpts from a booklet by DR. Pickering, published by Baptist World Missions. It is available from Crown Publications at 1-877- AT CROWN.