In the early days of Christianity, there weren’t any churches. The followers of Christianity would gather in homes to pray and to hold congregations. With time, Christianity took shape, which led to the emergence of churches. Along with the churches came separate denominations, which too became institutionalized, thus giving birth to churches of every denomination.
One such denomination is the Baptist Church. Baptists and Christians are often mistaken for one another. While Baptism remains an offshoot of Christianity, some key differences cannot be overlooked. Let’s explore some differences between the Baptist and the Christian schools of thought.
The Baptist Church
One of the primary differences between the Christian and the Baptist school of thought is based on the concept of baptism. The Baptist church believes that baptism plays a crucial role in a person’s spiritual work with their maker.
Moreover, the followers of the Baptist church are ready to renounce their Christian theological roots. They believe that only through pious contemplation can a believer discover the literal truth of the Bible.
The Baptist church also believes that baptism doesn’t have much to do with salvation. However, it is important for inner salvation, and it is also a public announcement of faith. Baptist Christians believe that every individual shares a deep connection with God. According to them, the best way to get closer to God is by serving their fellow people and by contributing to their betterment.
Furthermore, they believe that Baptism has been around since the time of John the Baptist. However, even the Baptist school of thought has broken down into smaller denominations. As far as the practice of baptizing an individual is concerned, some of them believe in dousing the whole body into water, while some of them believe in gently sprinkling. The Baptist church believes that a believer should keep an open mind while professing their religious beliefs. When it comes to the Bible, some Baptists believe in it completely, while some of them believe in interpreting it as they please.
One thing common between the Christian church and the Baptist church is that they both believe in God as their savior. They also share the same beliefs about the importance of seeking repentance for salvation.
Different Kinds of Baptists
As we discussed earlier, there are several sub-denominations of the Baptist school of thought. Let’s talk about them in detail.
The General Baptists
The General Baptists believe in the concept of atonement. But what is it? Well, it is the idea that God is reconciled to the world through Jesus Christ. They believe that Christ died for the entire humanity. In their opinion, a person can achieve salvation through good deeds, and having an unshakable faith in the power of the Lord.
However, they also believe that a person can lose their salvation through sinning and wrong doing. However, through repentance, they can earn their salvation once again. All one needs to do is to feel remorseful for their sins, and bow down before the Lord and seek forgiveness.
The Particular Baptists
Like the General Baptists, the Particular Baptists also believe in the concept of atonement. However, they believe that Christ didn’t die for everyone but only for a select few. Most Christian denominations find their beliefs a bit tricky, and this is the reason they are a little confusing.
The particular baptists say that Christ died only for the pious ones, but then they also admit that all human beings are sinners, which is a contradictory statement in itself. However, they also believe that a person who is once saved shall remain protected till the time of their death.
The Christian Church
The Christian Church follows the New Testament and the teachings of Christ. They also believe in religious practices, and they also have a tremendous amount of respect for the ecclesiastical structure. All the doctrines embedded within the New Testament are of utmost importance to the Christian church. Unlike Baptists, they adhere to the traditions and the customs that have been passed on to them throughout the centuries. For example, there are now musical instruments allowed within the Christian church.
The Christian church doesn’t believe in the idea of atonement. They find it speculative and believe that the idea is based primarily on conjecture as opposed to proven facts and knowledge. The Church of Christ also believes that salvation is a gift from God to his creatures and it can only be earned by acknowledging Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior.
As far as salvation is concerned, Christians have conflicting views on the subject. For example, some Christians believe that once you fall out of salvation, you cannot get it back. Then, there are some who believe that since salvation is a gift from God, they can repent after sinning and gain their salvation back. They believe that with good intentions and a pure heart, salvation can be restored.
As far as faith is concerned, the church of Christ believes that it is a rational act which is committed personally by an individual. However, in the process of practicing their faith, a Christian must have the biblical truth of Christ as a driving force. Moreover, their beliefs and practices are traced back to the Pentecost and the congregation of believers Christ had at the time.
The Christian church also has a hierarchy, which is almost like an organizational hierarchy. In the church, there are elders, and their job is to look after the church and the events that take place at the church. They also take care of the most trivial things like feeding the congregation.
The Difference Between the Christian Church and the Baptist Church
Now, let’s take a look at the differences between the Baptist Church and the Christian Church.
Baptists believe that water is extremely important since it is used for the purpose of baptism, and therefore, it plays a crucial role in a person’s salvation. The Christian church, on the other hand, has no such beliefs.
The Baptist also attach an eschatological connotation to the act of Baptizing, and they believe it is related to death and resurrection. Christians use Baptism as an entry point into the church.
The Baptists have a more spiritual meaning of faith. They believe that faith is a personal commitment between a man and his God. On the other hand, the Christian church believes in the literal truth of the Bible as well as the teachings and the doctrines contained within the Bible.
If you look closely, the Baptist route towards God is through an independent investigation of the truth. The Baptist church believes that believers should find salvation through good deeds and repentance. However, their sub-denominations have slight deviation in this concept. On the other hand, the Christian church is very systematic in its approach, and they have a hierarchy of elders who look after the matters of the church.
Moreover, they are also very traditional when it comes to beliefs and practices. They unconditionally follow the practices and the beliefs that have passed on to them through generations.