What is an Independent Baptist Church?

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At Calvary, we consider ourselves an Independent Baptist church.  So what does that mean?  An Independent Baptist Church is simply a church that operates autonomously and is not a member of (or affiliated with) a religious denomination.

There are many good people who work in denominational churches and organizations across the world.  And there are many good things that are being done by these churches.  We believe, however, that the church and its members should be autonomous and are to be responsible to each other and to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the head of the Church.

In many denominations there is an organizational structure that de-emphasizes this autonomy, even to the extent that the denomination chooses the pastor rather than the local congregation.

Denominationalism usually has a span of control that limits affiliated churches and its members and adds a layer of bureaucracy. We believe that a church and its members should not have to navigate through bureaucratic channels or lobby denominational leaders in order to follow through on their convictions.  Conversely, we don’t believe that we should affiliate with an organization that condones certain activities in member churches that we believe are unscriptural.

We also believe that the local church should retain 100% of what church members sacrificially give and that these offerings should be used as the local church and its members sees fit.  Many denominations operate similar to a franchise in that a portion of a church’s offering is sent to the home organization to pay for overhead.  This can drain churches of funds that could be better spent locally.

Though denominational organizations can helpful in many circumstances, we believe the New Testament gives us a clear example for how a church should organize, function and operate.

In many denominations there is an organizational structure that de-emphasizes this autonomy, even to the extent that the denomination chooses the pastor rather than the local congregation.

Denominationalism usually has a span of control that limits affiliated churches and its members and adds a layer of bureaucracy. We believe that a church and its members should not have to navigate through bureaucratic channels or lobby denominational leaders in order to follow through on their convictions.  Conversely, we don’t believe that we should affiliate with an organization that condones certain activities in member churches that we believe are unscriptural.

We also believe that the local church should retain 100% of what church members sacrificially give and that these offerings should be used as the local church and its members sees fit.  Many denominations operate similar to a franchise in that a portion of a church’s offering is sent to the home organization to pay for overhead.  This can drain churches of funds that could be better spent locally.

Though denominational organizations can helpful in many circumstances, we believe the New Testament gives us a clear example for how a church should organize, function and operate.