Why the divide betweent the Independent Baptists and Southren Baptists?

Maybe some of you all can help me with this question. I do not understand why Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches look down on the Southren Baptist. I have grown up and am a member of an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. I keep getting this feel within our "flavor of Christianity" that we look down on those who are in the SBC. As I understand a few decades ago the SBC was full of liberals, but they have cleaned them out. So why the separation from them? I have been kind of looking at some of the things that the Southren Baptists do, and I feel like they have us Independents beat on a few things, especially missions. I have heard many Independent preachers openly criticize the SBC. Shouldn't Christians be working together for the good of the kingdom and not looking down at other Christians? I think we as Independent Fundamentalists can be some of the most arrogant people out there, which greatly disappoints me. I for one would kind of like to see the lines blended a little bit.

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Rob Fall's picture

To understand the differences, a person has to go back to the breakup of the Triennial Baptist Convention on Missions back in the 1830s. Many "Independent Baptist" churches have their roots in the Northern Baptist movement. Hamilton Square Baptist was founded as a Northern Baptist church in 1881. We've never had any except very loose fraternal ties with the Southern Baptist convention.

Now for a bit of history:
Leaving aside the question of slavery, according to Francis Wayland and other Northern Baptists, the key issue was could a Baptist church be represented in a body higher than its self? Their answer at the time was no. As time went on, Baptists in the south formed the Southern Baptist Convention with its centralized programs and activities. Baptists in the north form organized themselves along decentralized functional lines. So, the Northern Baptist Home and Foreign Mission Society was organizationally separated from the NB Publication Society etc.. Historically, Northern Baptists have been very careful in maintaining the independence and autonomy of the local church. The organizing along functional lines is a reason why we see the multiplicity of mission boards seeking to serve.

Much of the criticism is now 20 years out of date as liberalism reach a high tide mark in years past. However, bear in mind back in the day, none of the men who went through the battles in the Northern Baptist Convention could conceive that in the 1990s the SBC would experience the conservative resurgence it did in that time frame.

As a historic northern Baptist, I have other foes to actively fight. To me, most issues concerning the SBC were settled in the 1830s. I have less reason to "blend" in with them, than I have to "blend" in with my Council of Evangelical Christian-Baptist Churches friends.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Rob Fall's picture

answer the question posed in the OP?

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Rob Fall's picture

I'm sorry if my post cut of discussion on this matter. I don't know how valid my answer was. I am baseing my opinion on my reading of Wayland's Principles and Practices of Baptist Churches.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..