B F & M – Cooperation

We as Baptists are many times a quarrelling people.  We have even been known to have fights over certain matters, and that is a truth we do not try to hide.  Is it right?  Sometimes, but most of the time we fight over trivial things.  Things that will not matter in eternity.

For the most part we as Baptists are also a forgiving people.  When we have our fights the heart of Christ in the truly regenerate will forgive the wrongs done to us, and/or to one another.  Most of all we believe in the forgivness of Christ.

The truth of Jesus Christ, and His death, burial and resurrection is what binds us together as Baptists, and what gives us the desire to cooperate with all Christians no matter what denomination they are of; as long as their actions and beliefs do not cause us to compromise our Bible doctrine, and beliefs in Christ.

Our Statement of Faith states:

“XIV. Cooperation

Christ’s people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ’s Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ’s people. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.

Exodus 17:12; 18:17ff.; Judges 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15; Nehemiah 4; 8:1-5; Matthew 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 22:1-10; 28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1ff.; Acts 1:13-14; 2:1ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:5-15; 12; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Galatians 1:6-10; Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians 1:15-18.”

Though sometimes we have difficulty getting along with one another we also know the Biblical mandate to love our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We know the strength of being united with others who are strong in the Lord, and the support we can give and receive by being united in Christ.

There are times we may be slow at joining in with another group of Christians, but that is not without merit.  Those who are doctrinally sound will be diligent to discern the situation, to pray and seek God’s guidance.  We should not desire to end up with a similar situation as Joshua when he was deceived by the Gibeonites (Joshua 9).

We pray for our brethren of other churches.  We will join with them when we see the need, and it does not compromise our faith.  We know that our Lord has other flocks, than Baptists alone.  We just happen to believe that Baptists are closer to Biblical doctrine than the others.  That is partly why we are Baptists.

-T.A.