Difference between CofE and Baptist?(7 Posts)
I'm from an Anglican background, and have always gone to anglican churches. Although I'm primarily of the view that the gospel is the gospel, and for the main part, differences in theological interpretations are not critical.
We moved to a new area last summer, and we were going to a C of E church. But we're wanting to find another church. We never settled there, DH and I have been through a shitty time recently and we didn't feel we had any fellowship from the Church. And then last Sunday the sermon was really homophobic, which we think was unacceptable.
So today we went to a baptist Church. It felt nice, really reflective.
But I don't really know anything about baptist churches. Can anyone enlightenment me please?
We are attending a C of E church but DS1 has rugby on Sunday mornings for 8 months of the year, so he attends the local Baptist church once a month on a Sunday evening.
The differences seem to be minor; they don't Christen babies but wait until the child is in their teens and can make their own vows, but many Anglicans (including us) do that these days.
Usually baptism is done by full immersion, but again many Anglican churches do this. Our current church and the one before (both C of E) have baptismal pools that are used as often as the fonts.
Communion is administered slightly differently.
The differences seem to be in style rather than in doctrine. I'm not a theologian or a deominational expert though; hopefully someone will come along who knows what they are talking about.
This is roughly what I said on the other thread....
I go to a small free church which is very similar to a Baptist Church, we do not have our own building but do have a paid minister and an elder or two.
I started going to a free church four years ago because we moved from a large Anglican one and I must admit I miss some of the stuff (like communion) although having gone to an evangelical (low) Anglican church there was not much 'pomp' if you know what I mean!
The things I noticed most are that we have church members meetings where we all hear about everything! which is very different from C of E where a committee (PCC) decides stuff.
The communion in our church is pieces of Matzo bread and tiny plastic cups of wine (grape juice). When we have communion we eat the bread when we receive it individually and then all drink our tiny cups together! All churches may vary so maybe if you take communion just watch what ones do! wink
One big difference will possibly be whether or not the Baptist church is a member of BUGB www.baptist.org.uk/ if they are then you can take a look at the BUGB website and see more about them. If they are not then see if they are affliliated to any other organisation.
For example a Baptist church near us is a member of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches FIEC and my church is also a member of the FIEC. Members of the FIEC do not accept women in main leadership roles, so they would not have women elders or pastors but they would have women leading worship, reading the Bible, leading Sunday school, helping with outreach and leading in smaller groups like house group and maybe an evening service.
BUGB now has a woman at the top (from September this year), www.baptist.org.uk/latest-news/981-new-gen-sec.html Rev Lynn Green will be new General Secretary.
Personally, I do not agree with the limitation of women in leadership so wish my church was part of BUGB rather than FIEC but we choose our church by heart not head, as in we went along and loved the people before I found out that women do not have ultimate leadership roles!
In some ways this is probably similar to the current situation with the C of E, not having women bishops (although I think that will change).
I wanted to say this because I was probably under the impression that Baptist churches all accepted women leaders and if you go to a service you may well see a woman up the front doing things at church and assume they can do anything! So if you want to know what they believe or think, then ask, don't assume it will be the same as you are used to or the same as other churches, unlike Anglican churches, Baptist churches have more freedom to vary exactly how they run things, I think!
It really depends what is important to you and so it is worth checking out the individual church website should somewhere state what they believe and which organisation/s (if any) they are affiliated to.
The adult baptism thing is something I am more than happy with and we chose not to have our daughter baptised as a child (she was dedicated in an Anglican church). When we arrived at our free church we attended for a year and then became members, which involved being formally welcomed in the service. We were not asked to be baptised as adults and the fact we had made our own declaration of faith as adults in our own C of E context many years ago was fine. I actually think I would be happy either way but again you may wish to just ask what they think if you find yourself wanting to actually join.
This is slightly varied from what I wrote on the other thread. One other thing I would say is that if you are particulerly concerned about the issue of gay marriage/relationships you may like to explore on the internet beforehand which denominations have what may be desribed as a 'tolerant' or 'accepting' attitude. The reason I say this is because over the last year I have changed from sitting on the fence to feeling very positive about gay marriage. May Christians of different denominations will have different views and you may find people with accepting or non-accepting views in any denomination. However there are certain denominations that generally are more accepting than others and if this is very important to you you may wish to research on this.
Baptists being congregational will vary from place to place and Italiangreyhound has given some really good pointers for working out where your lot are by affiliation.
No church is perfect. If it is fellowship and support you really need right now then you might have to compromise on something else. It depends on where that line is for you.
Thanks everyone for taking time to give some comprehensive responses !
I shall do a bit more research about this Church. It being a liberal Church is really important to me. I'd also like it if there were people the same age as me, but I live in a town with an older demographic. I've resigned myself to only meeting others my own age once I have kids!
They were really friendly to me yesterday, which is a good first step.
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