Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you call yourself an independent Baptist church?
By the term "independent" we simply mean that we are not part of any convention, association or union. All of the churches in the New Testament were self-governing, independent churches without any form of outside control. We do fellowship with other churches of like faith and practice, but our guidance comes from the Holy Spirit and the written word of God - not from an ecclesiastical body.
Are you part of the Baptist denomination?
Technically speaking, there is no such thing as a "Baptist denomination" - the "Baptists" do not have a human founder as such. The term "Baptist" was first applied to local groups of believers in Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries who believe much like we do today. In fact, because we hold to a literal interpretation of God's Word, churches like ours can be found throughout church history, although by various names, all of the way back to the early New Testament churches, as well as around the world today.
So where did the "independents" come from?
At one time, ALL Baptist churches were independent assemblies. Though many formed unions and conventions for various reasons, many others have chosen to remain independent bodies throughout the centuries. Independent Baptist churches are not something new, but something very old and well established in church history. In New Zealand all Baptist churches were independent until the formation of the Baptist Union in the 1880's. We know of about 40 Independent Baptist churches in New Zealand today.
What are the "Bible Baptists?"
This term does not refer to any group - it is simply part of the name of our church and a common part of the name of many independent Baptist churches in New Zealand and around the world. It describes who we are as we are BIBLE believers first, then Baptists!
Why do most independent Baptists disagree with the Charismatic movement? Don't you believe in the working of the Holy Ghost?
We definitely DO believe in the ministry of the Holy Ghost as testified to in scripture. However, we do NOT believe that the apostolic sign gifts (such as speaking in tongues, the gifts of healing, etc.) are valid for local churches today. This is not a hastily arrived at doctrine, but a valid position based on clear teaching of scripture that we would be more than willing to discuss in detail with anyone who is sincerely interested. For more information see our book In Spirit and In Truth (available through Verity & Charity Publications).
So you don't believe in divine healing either?
To the contrary, we DO believe in divine healing, but NOT that the apostolic sign "gift of healing" is valid for today. God can and does heal in response to prayer, but he does NOT work through so-called healers today with the same gifts of healing exercised by the apostles in the early church.We realize healing meetings are popular in many NZ churches today, but what goes on those meetings is NOT the same as what went on in the New Testament. Again, we would be more than glad to enter into correspondence with anyone on this point who is sincerely interested in what scripture has to say.
What do you do in your services?
Our mid-week Bible study consists of a time of prayer, fellowship and study of the word of God, verse by verse. Our Sunday services similarly involve fellowship with God's people and praising God in song, prayer, and the preaching of his holy word. In all our services we open the word in such a manner that you can see and examine it for yourself.
Why do you sing the old hymns? Why not use some exciting new Christian Contemporary Songs to help people worship?
Because, contrary to many people's opinions, the Bible does in fact provide rules for the music that we as Christians listen to. These include:
Music should glorify the Lord - 1 Corinthians 10:31
Music should emphasize the melody, not the harmony, and most certainly not the beat - Eph. 5:19
Music is not amoral - 1 Samuel 16:23
Music should be spiritual and not stir up the flesh - Romans 7:18
There are more of course, but these are the most basic of guidelines. The majority of Contempory Christian music played in churches today violates these clear, Scriptural principles. How can God bless a church violating his word and worshipping in the realm of the flesh instead of the spirit? If music were simply a matter of opinion, then anyone could do as they wish - our desire at Timaru Bible Baptist Church however is to glorify God and worship him in such a manner that he is pleased. We should stress that our singing and services are anything but dead and lifeless - we strive to sing from the heart and worship God in spirit and in truth.
Am I correct in seeing that you use only the King James Bible and not some of the newer versions? Aren't they easier to read and understand?
You are welcome to visit our church and bring any version that you please. No one is going to hassle you about the Bible you bring - we rejoice when folks care enough to bring a Bible to church in expectation of hearing something from the Lord! However, we as a church use one version for several reasons:
Because much of our teaching and preaching is of the verse-by-verse variety, it is far easier to follow along if we all use the same Bible version - I Corinthians 14:33
The King James Bible is the only English version that we are aware of without any confirmed mistakes. We can show you clear and glaring omissions in the NIV, NASV , New KJV and all of the other English versions, but none in a King James Bible. This fact along with its manuscript evidence and God’s apparent stamp of approval on the KJB during the last 400 years of church history leaves us with little option but to accept it as God’s perfect and preserved word in the English language - Proverbs 30:5
Why did you put that junk in my letterbox?
Simple: because we care about you! The "junk" is actually a Gospel tract which we put into your letterbox to inform you of a couple of crucial facts:
You are a sinner, in need of a saviour to escape a very real Hell as your penalty for breaking God's law.
Jesus loved you enough to take your punishment. He died on the cross for you, but he rose again from the grave!
Salvation is a free gift - but you must receive it
Please, please, click here to watch a video about the Bible's message to you.
Why did you start a church in Timaru?
We first began a small fellowship in Timaru on the 4th of November 2012, formally establishing the church on 22/3/2014 with 12 members. Over 90% of our town does not go to church on a regular basis. The odds are that you are part of the 90% - YOU are therefore the reason why the Timaru Bible Baptist Church exists!
If you still have questions then please feel free to contact us.