The Southern Baptist Convention in 2011 reported an increase in the number of baptisms and total churches over the previous year, but declined in total membership, according to the Annual Church Profile (ACP) compiled by LifeWay Christian Resources in cooperation with Baptist state conventions.
Southern Baptist churches baptized 333,341 in 2011, a 0.70 percent increase from the 331,008 reported in the SBC Annual last year. Total membership in 2011, reported at 15,978,112, represents a 0.98 percent drop from 16,136,044 reported the previous year and is the fifth straight year of decline....
To lighten the debate: two biblical scholars were conversing on baptism. One asked the other, "Do you believe in infant baptism?". The other perked up and confidently stated, "not only to I believe it, but I have seen it done!"
Presby wrote: Ah but don't forget Thomas Presbyterians use the Whole counsel of God including the OT. And don't forget Thomas your method was only introduced in 1521. Here is a sermon on SA to help you... [URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=831051405]]]Confessions of a FORMER Baptist[/URL]
I was just jabbing for fun but thank you just the same. I have studied this out for several years now, which was prompted by my attending a Reformed church for a little while. I haven't come to my conclusions lightly.
However, I would like to mention one thing regarding the notion that because something was alleged to have been introduced as recent as 1521 that it must be wrong. Martin Luther and John Calvin would both take issue with that I think. Should they have gone back to Rome because Rome rejected Sola Fide? The question is whether or not it is biblical.
By the way, baptism by immersion was also practiced early in the first century AD to as I recall. (sorry, just another quick jab; no offense intended - I love the Presbyterian and Reformed; some of my friends are P&R. I also love listening too Alan Cairns - Let the Bible Speak - of the Free Presbyterians)
What jpw, you dislike Christian Zionism! [URL=http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=79528503-9F7D-464F-8908-76AC19903A11]]]Christian Zionists: The Real Terrorists[/URL].
Anyway, all Christians have to remember:
2 Timothy 4 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. 5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.---[URL=http://www.lockman.org/nasb/nasbcmp.php]]]NASB[/URL]
Numbers of participants in a church may drop because they are preaching in a Biblical fashion! Oh, oh, I saw something about baptism, well, [URL=http://www.biblebb.com/files/GRBAP.HTM]]]Baptism: Truth or Tradition[/URL].
maybe its radio programs on "getting out of credit card debt" when everyday people are struggling to find any work, just trying to survive, or Christian Zionism at a time when military have been gone from their families protecting poppy fields in Afghan for 10 years or families with autistic children after certain med intrusions while the ethics people put radio programs on about chicken fighting in Tennessee.
There seems to be a huge disconnect in practical theology, as if the new America has not really hit the frontal lobes of many.
The Left Behind generation did not teach the next generation to prepare for a world that considers Christianity a spoke in the wheel of progress, but instead taught them to rejoice in horrific events as they passed by, and denying the practical theology of love thy neighbor, keep the oil lit as we wait in exchange for, "you are special, and God's gonna rapture you right out."
It was a spiritless (due to cessationism) prosperity gospel in a time of decline.
Not to say theology should bend to the winds of change, but rather in simple terms....
as much as I love and care about many in the SBC, it is out of touch (or just working full time to avoid seeing the elephant in room)
May God purify His church to make her an honest witness.
heathenists wrote: Besides foreign missions, this infinitesimal elect trickle from SBC loins barely adds even a drop every year to its membership bucket.
Numbers count for naught. It is God alone who can give an increase, and he is increasing his church (called-out ones) at just the rate he has chosen. The church saves no-one, it is the saved ones who are the church. Figure that out and you will make some little progress.
John UK wrote: Ah but churches do not increase through physical children but spiritual children. In this, the Roman Catholics and Presbyterians have made a serious error.
Besides foreign missions, this infinitesimal elect trickle from SBC loins barely adds even a drop every year to its membership bucket.
Baptists birth devil spawn. To fix this most have hooked up with Margaret Sanger. Don't ever let Baptist children sing "Jesus Loves Me" because He probably doesn't. They're all damned unless or until that elect one, walks the aisle, says the sinners prayer, gives a public testimony and gets baptized.
The big money is on international missions where they convert millions of elect and godly children from the pagan.
If a baptist ever tells you his child is of the covenant, he's a crypto-Presbyterian or worse.