David Lee Brown
The Baptist Catechism – an Almost Lost Tool
The Baptist Catechism – an Almost Lost Tool in Christianity. Did you know that there is a Baptist Catechism? Many do not, and most never use it. In times past, Christian men would gather their family for Bible study. They would instruct their children concerning Biblical truth. They would quiz them on doctrine. They would share with them the Gospel of the Lord Jesus and instruct them in righteousness. Unfortunately, that wondrous time has all but passed into obscurity in most homes. In many homes, you can’t even find a father, much less a good Christian father. Lack of instruction has led to a “falling away” from the church by children and teens, who are without proper guidance. This form of education is also excellent for new converts to Christianity. So, it makes a wonderful discipleship guide and framework to teach new Christians.
So, in the lines below, I’m going to share just the preface of the Baptist Catechism. If you wish a full copy of the Baptist Catechism, I can provide it as a PDF File. So, just contact me, requesting a copy of the Baptist Catechism, and I’ll e-mail it to you. Biblical.firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT IS CATECHISM?
The Greek word katēchēsō means “instruct” or “teach,” and each verse below uses this Greek word. We get our English word “catechize” from this word. Catechize means to instruct someone in the principles of the Christian religion through question and answer. Generally, using questions and answers accompanied by Biblical support and explanation. It merely means to explain Biblical truth in an orderly system. In Galatians 6:6, Paul also says, “Let him who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches.” In 1 Corinthians 14:19, Paul shares, “In the church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.” Also, in Acts, 18:25 says that Apollos “has been instructed in the way of the Lord.”
While 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” we cannot expect new Christians to try to comprehend the entirety of scripture when first saved. They must receive the “milk” of the Gospel before they move on to the “meat.”
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THIS CATECHISM?
“The Baptist Catechism” first adopted by Baptists in 1689 in Great Britain. A revision written by William Collins became “The Baptist Catechism of 1693.” The Baptist Catechism provided the Biblical doctrine held by Baptists in both Europe and America during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Philadelphia Baptist Association adopted it in 1742. But it came from the well-known reformation Westminster Catechism of 1643.
IS A BIBLICAL PATTERN OF DOCTRINE IMPLIED?
Several manuscripts teach that there is. For instance, in Romans 6:17, Paul says that “you have become obedient from the heart to the pattern of teaching to which you were committed.” Also, Acts 2:42 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching.” 2 Timothy 1:13 says, “Follow the pattern of sound words which you heard from me.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15 also says, “Stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us.” Furthermore, Acts, 20:27 says, “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” So, it seems that there was a body of authoritative instruction and even a way of teaching it in the early church. The Baptist Catechism is a guide for children and new Christians. So, gather the children around you, and together explore through the questions and answers within the Catechism.
When done daily, this will establish a robust and Biblical foundation in the hearts and minds of your children and new converts.
C.H. Spurgeon once said about the importance of the Catechism
“In matters of doctrine you will find orthodox congregations frequently change to heterodoxy in the course of thirty or forty years, and it is because too often there has been no catechizing of the children in the essential doctrines of the Gospel. For my part, I am more and more persuaded that the study of a good Scriptural catechism is of infinite value to our children. Even if the youngsters do not understand all the questions and answers… still yet, abiding in their memories, it will be of infinite service when the time of understanding comes, to have known these very excellent, wise and judicious definitions of the things of God.”
WHY IS INSTRUCTION IMPORTANT?
1. There are many deceivers and false profits, (1 John 2:26) and (Mathew 24:11).
2. There are hard doctrines to understand, “which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).
3. Leaders must cultivate those who can “give instruction in sound doctrine and also confute those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9).
FAMILY BIBLE STUDY AND CATECHISM
Make these instructions and teachings part of your daily family routine. Education cannot be overemphasized! You must teach Christianity to your children. Adopt a specific time for family Bible study. You may also adopt this into your routine if you are a new Christian. Your church may also want to select it as their discipleship training guide for new Christians.