The Regular Baptist Church – What is it? What do Regular Baptists believe?
About 1,300 churches form the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, an association of conservative, evangelical churches in the Baptist tradition.
In the sixteenth century several pre-Reformation groups that believed in believer's baptism by immersion and rejected the formalism and church hierarchy of the time came together and eventually became the "Baptists." As the denomination of Baptists grew, it split. The Particular Baptists followed Calvinist doctrine that Jesus died to secure the salvation of only the elect (particular atonement). The General Baptists believed that Jesus died to make all men savable—an Arminian doctrine called general atonement. For a time in Colonial America, they were known as Free Baptists. The Particular Baptists became known as Regular Baptists.
Today, the Regular Baptists hold to a form of Calvinism regarding salvation, believing in both unlimited atonement and divine election: Jesus' atonement through death is available for everyone, but especially for the elect.
The General Association of Regular Baptists today puts no emphasis or doctrinal meaning behind the word "Regular." Rather, it is seen as a general term referring to adherence to the "regulation" or rule of Scripture. Regular Baptists hold to orthodox Baptist beliefs and affirm the rule of Scripture as the authority for faith and practice. The Baptist tradition includes things like local congregational rule, the two ordinances of baptism and communion, two church offices of pastor and deacon, the priesthood of the believer, and salvation and baptism required for church membership. They are also missions-minded.
The General Association of Regular Baptists holds no authority over the churches, but is rather a fellowship of independent churches for mutual support. The Association sponsors regional and national conferences, has a publishing arm (Regular Baptist Press), supports disaster relief, funds construction of new churches and renovations for established churches through the Baptist Builders Club, and funds scholarships through Talents for Christ.
In general, Regular Baptist Churches have biblical doctrine. Each church will have unique differences; some may hold to extreme or legalistic views, whereas others may strike a balance. As with any church, it is best to compare what is taught and practiced there with what the Bible teaches.
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