Many folks say they do not like labels. However labels are important. If you think not, imagine grocery shopping without the benefit of labels. Here are three labels I embrace:
#1. Baptist - I am a Baptist. I am not a "Baptist Brider". In fact I would not even call myself a "Historic Baptist". I am a "Bible Believing Baptist".
Bible Sole Authority
Autonomy of the Local Church
Priesthood of the Believer
Two Ordinances (Believers Baptism by Immersion and Lord's Supper)
Individual Soul Liberty
Baved Church Membership
Two Offices (Pastor and Deacon)
Separation of Church and State
#2. Dispensationalist - I am a Dispensationalist. I believe Dispensationalism is the only consistent method of interpreting the Bible. Dispensationalism is sound Biblical Hermeneutics. There must be a Literal, Grammatical, Historical approach to our Bible Study. However I am not "Hyper" in my dispensationalism nor am I a "Ruckmanite". Although I do believe strongly in the King James Version of the Bible.
#3. Separatist - I am a Separatist . The Word of God clearly teaches separation, but not isolation, and there is a difference. Ecclesiastical Separation is separation from false doctrine, heresy, and compromise. Personal Separation is separation from sin, worldliness, and compromise. Also note that Biblical Separation is twofold. Not only separation FROM the above mentioned, but also separation TO The Lord Jesus Christ and His Word.
Here is a label I reject:
Legalist - I am NOT a Legalist. A legalist often is described as someone who has certain standards in dress, music, and manner of life. However a true legalist is someone who adds to the Grace of God for salvation. (Rom. 11:6, Gal. 1:6-9)
Now some have a "Pharisaical" attitude and focus only on the outward; perhaps it would be fair to say they have a legalistic mindset. However we all have personal standards. I have heard in jest: "A legalist is someone who has higher standards than you have." Every church, pastor, and Christian should have standards; based on Biblical principals. Those standards may not make one spiritual, but it does not make one a legalist either.
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