When people find out that I’m a pastor one of their first questions is what kind of a church I pastor. On some of my more sarcastic days I’m tempted to say, “Rosemont Baptist Church…Did you not hear the Baptist?” But that would be a corrupt way to speak, and it would also be a vague way to describe our congregation. “Baptist”, like Presbyterian, or Methodist, or Evangelical, can mean many things. So I usually describe Rosemont as a “reforming” Baptist Church. We are traditionally baptistic in most of our doctrine and practice, but we are constantly comparing and adjusting our doctrine and practices to the Word of God, not Baptist tradition. This is known in most reformed circles as Sola Scriptura, a latin phrase meaning Scripture is our sole rule for faith and practice.
In many places it’s no more than that – a phrase. At Rosemont, it’s a commitment. We are trying, individually and corporately, to make the Word of God our blueprint for everything we believe and everything we do. It is changing individuals, couples, families, and our congregation. It is changing how we lead and who leads, it is changing our music, it is changing how we spend our money and use our resources, it is changing how we deal with sin, how we do “missions”, how we train our children, etc…
And let me tell you, you never know how much needs to be reformed until you start reforming! So much of what we do personally and corporately has no biblical foundation. We do it from tradition, or out of pragmatism ( it gets the results we want ), or for fleshly comfort and pleasure, or for material benefits, or for acceptance and recognition in the world, or to avoid persecution from the church. That’s why reform meets such resistance sometimes – because people and congregations don’t like to give these things up, even when they see that they are not biblical. But the joy of doing all things Jesus commanded His apostles, and the blessing which comes from denying self, taking up our cross, and following Him is real. I recommend it to every Christian and to every church.
Come visit and see how Christ is reforming this group of sinners!