Garden City Baptist Church
Garden City Baptist Church is an independent Baptist Church, that is, we are not a member of any union or fellowship. Immediately upon hearing such a statement, people begin to wonder “What is an Independent Baptist Church? How are they different from other Baptist churches? Are they are a cult?” And yes, I have been asked all of these!
The fact is, independent Baptist Churches have always existed. If you were to perform even a cursory check online of Baptist History, the idea of Unions, Fellowships, Conventions, and other official affiliations, you would find they are actually a modern trend. The first Baptist Union of any kind formed in Australia was not formed until 1862 in Victoria. A National Baptist Union of Australia was not formed until 1926. In other countries, like America and England, Baptists Associations formed earlier, but these only served as councils for ordination, disciplining members and settling congregational disputes. In England, the first Baptist Union was formed in 1812-13, whilst in America, the first real ‘unions’ were not formed until the 1830’s – 40’s. Before this, all congregations were independent.
An independent Baptist Church is simply an independent, local congregation committed to historic Christianity and in particular, historic Baptist principles. We are independent in governance, but not isolationist! We fellowship regularly with other Churches of like-mind, combining our efforts where we can, assisting one another when able.
Oh! So you are a Baptist group? That’s another good question! Yes, we are Baptists! We believe in the baptism of believers only. We believe that only baptised believers should be members of local Churches. We are unashamedly Baptist. Charles Spurgeon, that great Prince of Preaches who on October 28, 1887 resigned from the English Baptist Union and remained for the rest of his life an independent Baptist Pastor, wrote: “We fear it is hopeless ever to form a society which can keep out men base enough to profess one thing and believe another; but it might be possible to make an informal alliance among all who hold the Christianity of their fathers.” In a day and age where all the trends were toward unification, harmony, amalgamation, and brotherhood, suddenly here was a lone voice — a most influential voice — urging true believers to become separatists.
The problem is, there are those individuals, even Churches, who call themselves Baptist, yet who in a strict and historical sense are not. Tragically, Baptist churches, like other churches, have been subject to the erosion and dilution of their biblical convictions. The cause of this? Compromise. A failure to stand for the faith as once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3). Instead of ‘faithful men’ (II Timothy 2:2), churches world-wide struggle against the inflow of ‘culture’ and ‘society’, where people want to redefine The Bible in order to ‘fit in’ with what is currently popular. Ours is not to ‘fit in’, ours is to preach The Bible!
In light of history, in light of The Faith, in light of The Bible, we remain today an independent Baptist Church. Many have begun to look back and in so doing have discovered how far modern ‘evangelical’ and even ‘fundamental’ Christianity has deviated from Bible Christianity! They are sickened by the man-centred worship of the ‘church’ today, and want to return to the kind of teaching and preaching that presents all the Counsel of God (Acts 20:27) and not just the kind designed to ‘tickle the ears’ (II Timothy 4:3). This is why we say, we are Baptist, but with a difference!
So what exactly do you believe? I’m glad you asked! You’d actually be surprised how many people will join a Church WITHOUT EVER WANTING TO KNOW what that Church actually believes! I will provide here just a couple of important issues that need to be stated, but would ask that you check out our Statement of Faith page for a more detailed answer.
We believe in the centrality of the local Church in the Christian’s life (Matthew 18:15-20; I Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 13:17). There are too many ‘Lone Ranger’ Christians around today who think that it is sufficient to be a member of an invisible Church. The problem with invisible churches is, that they have invisible members and invisible officers. The help and accountability they give is also invisible. We believe that Christians need each other, and that it was Christ who founded the local Church, and that forsaking Church attendance is nothing more than disobeying Christ! (SeeEphesians 4:11-17 and Hebrews 10:24-25). Meeting with other believers is a command, not a request. In a ‘Lone Ranger’ situation, where is the accountability? Where is the encouragement? Where is the warning against sin and danger? We believe that Christians need a good local Church to instruct, counsel, and, if needed, correct them.
We believe that the preaching and teaching of the Word should be central in the life of the local church. The church, said the Apostle Paul, is “the pillar and ground of the truth” (I Timothy 3:15). In the figurative language of Revelation 1:20, local churches are lamp stands. In other words, they are essentially sources of light, the light of the Word of God.
Many other things ought to be part of the local church: good fellowship for Christians, generous benevolence to the poor, missionary and evangelistic endeavours toward the lost, but it must never be forgotten that the fountain of all these things is the proclamation of the Word of God. Where Christ removes the lamp stand the church ceases to exist, even if the shell of a social club, a charitable organization, or a mission program remains (Revelation 2:5).
We believe the church should be a spiritual family which cares about the spiritual welfare of its members (I Thessalonians 5:12-14; Philippians 2:1-5). Becoming a member of a local church is a covenant commitment to The Lord and to the members of a local church. It means a willingness to be transparent, a willingness to be humble, and a willingness to undertake the obvious responsibilities of such a commitment (Ephesians 4:1-3, 25-32). Such a commitment ought not to be lightly undertaken or frivolously forsaken.
We believe that the policies, practices, and worship of the Church should be ordered by the Word of God. The Word clearly says that the local Church is “the house of God”, “the church of the living God”, I Timothy 3:15. As such, the will of God, revealed in the Word of God, must regulate Church life. Pragmatism (‘what-will-work’) and Tradition (the-way-we’ve-always-done-it) rule many churches. That ought not be the case! Our modern generation of church-goers need to be reminded again that it is following CHRIST that is to be our goals, not slick business/marketing-styled plans or traditions! Such is actually CONDEMNED in The Bible as ‘will worship’, see Colossians 2:23.
Who are we? A group of believers banded together upon the Foundation of Gods Word, offering A New Beginning, An Edified Walk, A Blessed Hope! Why not drop by on Sunday and try a service at Garden City Baptist Church?!
How can I find out more about you? If these convictions strike a responsive chord in your heart, if you have questions, or want more information, flip over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, we look forward to hearing from you soon!
-Excerpt From gardencitybaptistchurch.com.au
- Location / Region Queensland