We make no excuses for being called Protestants, and holding to historic Protestant theology. This label stems from the Reformation, which had been brewing for centuries, but was launched into the open when, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany in “protest” against the tyranny of Rome with their false and pharisaical teachings.
Through these years the leaders of the Reformation, who were for the most part, leaders of local churches, through councils in the spirit of Acts 15, formulated and hammered out the position of the Protestant Church regarding church doctrine. Some may have differed on lesser elements, but all were agreed on the essential Doctrines of the Bible.
In the years that followed, after men like Luther and Calvin had gone to be with the Lord, there came many attacks against these doctrines that they risked their lives to defend and that the church held as sound. One of the most pointed attacks came from a man by the name of Jacobus Arminius. Arminius’ followers put forth what became known as the: Remonstrance of 1610. This “Arminian” view, which was boiled down to what were known as the five points of Arminianism, rejected much of what the Reformers held to and gave their lives for.
In response, the church fathers, convened the Council of Dort in 1618-19. They labeled the teachings of Arminius as heresy, and those who held to his doctrines as heretics who were subsequently put out of the church.
The Council also considered that it was necessary and proper to lay out what was considered sound Biblical Doctrine. So, to combat each of the five points of Arminius, they put forth the five points of the Doctrines of Grace. Here, they said, the church stands... here is what we hold to as Biblically orthodox theology. They named these fundamental Biblical doctrines after one of the great Reformers: John Calvin. The "Westminster Confession of Faith" and the "1689 Baptist Confession of Faith" were born out of these controversies and councils.
Through the years these doctrines have again and again come under attack. Yet until the mid 1800’s the Doctrines of Grace were overwhelmingly held to as Orthodox Christianity. It was at that time that the Southern Baptist Convention was founded, and the founders were likewise overwhelmingly men who held to these historic Christian doctrines found in the "1689 Baptist Confession of Faith."
In the late 1800’s further attacks came against Orthodox Christianity. The church once again began to downplay the need for sound doctrine and its importance to the church. The “Prince of Preachers,” Charles H. Spurgeon, who pastored the great Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, England, during this time, was a staunch supporter of the Doctrines of Grace. Pastor Spurgeon fought long and hard against this trend taking place in his day in what was called: the“Downgrade Controversy.” The church was engaged in the “dumbing down” of its people. In place of sound doctrine was this new “easy believism gospel.”
Unfortunately, the damage was done and the church was infected by false teaching. After the turn of the 20th century, it began to embrace all manner of false theology and considered it as acceptable. So much so, that today, the doctrines that were once preached and embraced as the true doctrines of the church, have all but disappeared. In their place, that which was condemned as heresy, is now commonly taught and practiced in the vast majority of Baptist churches. Even Southern Baptist Churches. Today, members of churches hardly know the basics of Biblical doctrine. Just as sad, because people are not taught church history, they don’t even realize that what they are now being taught has dramatically changed and has become basically the opposite from what was accepted theology and taught in churches barely 100 years ago.
Grace Baptist Church holds to the historic doctrines of the Reformation and rejects Arminianism considering it, as the Reformers did, heresy. Along with this false teaching, we also reject the practice of “easy believism” practiced in most evangelical churches today, with an invitation system that amounts to little more than “decisional regeneration.” It is a practice that robs God of His glory by promoting the role of man in salvation. In today’s gospel, man merely chooses God... makes a decision and God is obligated to respond. In the Doctrines of Grace, salvation is all of God, and He receives all the glory!
GBC further rejects the non-historic, modern day teaching of Dispensationalism made popular via the "Scofield Reference Bible." This false system of dividing the Bible also swept into the church due to the vacuum left when sound theology was removed.
"The Doctrines of Grace are not merely a system of theological truths, they represent the way a person views God. We see Him as the Majestic, Holy God, who is sovereign over every area of creation and life. The Doctrines of Grace assure that only God receives all the glory for creation, revelation and salvation. The Arminian teaching, so popular in the church today, represents the view of a god other then the True God of the Scriptures!” MCH
Though we may be in the minority of churches
holding to these doctrines today...
we are certainly not in the minority of church history.
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