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Thinking Religion - Research Paper Example

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Thinking Religion

This paper answers some relevant questions about misconceptions people and I had about Baptists. Like every person who is not a Baptist, I too had certain misconceptions about Baptists. These misconceptions came about in discussions with practicing Baptists. What I thought was part of their beliefs later turned out to be personal interpretations of the way that they read the Bible and understand their religion. . There is the general belief that the Baptist church condones abortion. However, after a visit to a Baptists church it transpired that they oppose abortion if done only to avoid responsibilities as a parent and as means of birth control. However, they believe that an abortion may be performed to save the mother’s life, or in case that is a forced conception as when a woman is raped. Even if the fetus is deformed and has little chances of leading a normal independent life, an abortion might be carried out to save the child from a life of misery. Generally the Baptists believe in the sanctity of life (Dutch, 2002). Another misconception that I harbored was that music is not permissible for Baptists. That is also not true because you will find a “hymn book” in every pew in all Baptist Churches. Very few services are carried out or conclude without hymns .However, there are some churches that absolutely refuse any form of modern music, and the churches still adhere to the old hymns. These churches usually allow some guitars without amplifiers, but the guitar will not be accompanied by any other instrument. Therefore allowing modern music is not an issue per se not with people who like the music so much as those who oppose it. However some churches not only allow contemporary, but in fact encourage the use of new compositions. When the 60’s ushered in a new era of music, the Baptist church brought in a new era of Gospel music. In fact Carmichael who was one of the most sought after music director of pop music in the 60”s also composed many Gospel hymns. The hymns that Carmichael composed are still very popular and have great tunes (Dutch, 2002). Another misconception is that Baptists only believe in the St. James Bible, which is the first bible to be mass produced and distributed. This misconception came about because some Baptist churches insisted that worshippers coming to the church were given St. James bibles only. People bringing in their own bibles were pointedly asked by ushers which bibles they had, and if were any other version of the bible, they were asked to use the St. James bible only. Those who refused were asked to leave the church. This gave everyone the impression that Baptists believed in the St. James Bible only and not any of the other versions of the bible which people used. These conservative Baptists believed that other versions were not true interpretations of the word of God, and that the true word of God must not be diluted or misinterpreted in any way. This fierce debate was generated by Dr. Peter Ruckman with his book, Bible Babel (1964). Dr. Peter vehemently attacked those who did not agree with him. This hostility caused embarrassment to Baptists when the debate spread even over the Internet. Many websites were committed to this issue, each with its own version. Some were downright hostile and mean that contradicts any form of academic discussion (Dutch, 2002). Before this controversy, choosing a bible version was quite easy. However there are some scholars who have maintained self-esteem and responsibility in these ...Show more


While all Christians believe in and practice infant baptism, the “Baptists” differ in that they believe that baptism is only legitimate when the person understands religion and becomes a believer of choice and conviction…
Author : jaimegoldner
Thinking Religion essay example
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