Why I Am a Canadian Baptist

A Canadian Baptist not just a Baptist who is Canadian, but someone who belongs to a family of Baptists called Canadian Baptists. I belong specifically to a group called the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec.

The big reason is that we focus on basics. We hold with other protestant Christians, belief in the Trinity, the reliability of the Bible, atonement, resurrection and salvation by faith.

We have a number of Baptist-specific beliefs, including baptism by immersion for believers, focus on the local church and others.

The reason that I like Canadian Baptists in particular is that we have a big tent. This is why I am a Canadian Baptist:

  • We have cessationists and charismatics.
  • We have Calvinists and Arminians.
  • We have liturgy and free-form.
  • We have pacifists and people serving in the military.
  • We have people against women in leadership and female pastors.
  • We have people who support traditional marriage and those who support same-sex marriage.
  • We have conservatives and liberals.
  • We have young earth creationists and theistic evolutionists.

Some may look at this (on either end of the theological spectrum) and see this as a weakness. The Bible clearly teaches a truth and we need to follow it. However, godly people who value the Bible disagree on plenty of biblical interpretations.

That’s not to say I have no opinions or that I think all interpretations are equally true. Some are correct and some are wrong. But I have moved on some of my positions and cannot be confident that there won’t be more movement.

Canadian Baptists give room to figure these things out. Our denomination doesn’t have the authority to impose interpretations on the churches and pastors don’t have the authority to impose interpretations on the congregation.

We agree to associate based on our core values and then attempt to have grace toward those we disagree with. And that is why I’m a Canadian Baptist.

 

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3 thoughts on “Why I Am a Canadian Baptist”

  1. Good list! The only thing I’d have a problem with is the same-sex marriage.
    We have cessationists and charismatics. — I can see arguments for both sides. I’m a cessationist, but I don’t disagree with or condemn charismatics (the only exception would be the charismatic that includes “gifts of the Spirit” in salvation, that is, if you don’t display a gift, you’re not saved).
    We have Calvinists and Arminians. — Again, both sides are well supported (I consider myself neither … I think they both get some things wrong)
    We have liturgy and free-form. — I like both for different reasons and I don’t think a biblical argument can be made for either.
    We have pacifists and people serving in the military. — I’m in the military, but I can respect arguments for pacivism.
    We have people against women in leadership and female pastors. — This one is tough. I don’t have a problem with women church leadership (e.g. Lydia from Thyatira in Philippi) how far this should go … I don’t know.
    We have people who support traditional marriage and those who support same-sex marriage. — This is the big one. There is NO way. Absolutely no way to defend this position from scripture. There are too many clear statements that oppose same-sex marriage/relationships etc. I have no problem accepting same-sex-attracted/tempted Christians just as I’m tempted to sin in a sexual nature. They’re both temptation. Just like I wouldn’t accept someone who was openly or unabashedly living in sin by cheating on his/her spouse. Sexual sin is sexual sin heterosexual or otherwise, and it’s clearly stated as such in the Bible.
    We have conservatives and liberals. — Amen (except on the issue of abortion, there’s no way you can defend abortion from a Christian perspective)!
    We have young earth creationists and theistic evolutionists. — Good, those discussions can be fruitful as long as one doesn’t make YEC belief required for salvation.

    1. That is the one that most people would struggle with. Actually our denomination does not allow pastors to perform same-sex weddings. However, people are free to support them and attend them.

  2. Ah, that is different. One of the biggest failings of evangelicals is how we (in general) treat same-sex attracted people. Supporting and loving family/friends who are same-sex attracted is very different than approving of their sin.

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