Archive for April, 2013

Congregational Church Governance

downloadWhat Is Congregational Church Governance?

Polity is how an organization, such as a church, functions—the policies that guide matters such as governance, decision making, structure and leadership. Baptists differ from most Christian denominations in matters of polity. The difference especially is evident in how congregations of Christians are governed.

One major difference between Baptists and many other denominations is that no person or group outside of a Baptist congregation is to have any authority over the church in regard to beliefs and religious practices. Furthermore, all of the members within the church fellowship are to have equal voice in the governance of the church.

Baptist church governance often is termed “democratic.” In a sense it is. In a democracy, all of the people have equal voices in decision making. No individual or group of persons is in control. Such is to be the case in a Baptist church. One way that democratic governance is practiced is that each member of the church has the right to vote on matters at church business meetings.

To many non-Baptists, and even to some Baptists, this seems to be a strange way for a church to function. Putting the governance of a church in the hands of persons who have no special training, education or calling appears to be foolish. Why would Baptists dare to function in this fashion?

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                             RAPTURE AND SECOND COMING CONTRASTS


1 Translation of all believers
2 Translated saints go to heaven
3 Earth not judged
4 Imminent, any-moment, signless
5 Not in the Old Testament
6 Believers only
7 Before the day of wrath
8 No reference to Satan
9 Christ comes for His own
10 He comes in the air
11 He claims His bride
12 Only His own see Him
13 Tribulation begins

2nd Coming/Estab. Kingdom

1 No translation at all
2 Translated saints return to earth
3 Earth judged & righteousness established
4 Follows definite predicted signs including tribulation
5 Predicted often in Old Testament
6 Affects all men
7 Concluding the day of wrath
8 Satan bound
9 Christ comes with His own
10 He comes to the earth
11 He comes with His bride
12 Every eye shall see Him
13 Millennial Kingdom begins

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