Who are the Free Will Baptists, and what do they believe?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The Free Will Baptists are one of many denominations within the widely varied Baptist realm. They are organized under the National Association of Free Will Baptists, or NAFWB, an association of aut...

July 01 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Rodney Brown
I find that practically all Baptist churches here in Australia are Pastored and governed by people who are predominantly Arminian in their teaching of the nature of regeneration.

Therefore, from my perspective, they as a result teach the self determining of election and the work of holding interest in Christ and the church as their hope of assurance. 

Along with this they claim Christ made it possible to get saved but the actual determining factor of attaining salvation lies within them as an act of decision making rather than a heavenly decree from above.

What they're actually teaching is that Jesus Christ's atonement merely unlocked the door of heaven and to believe is an act solely of the human will, aka free choice.

What they teach is that when Christ died and was raised, he didn't save anyone, he only made it possible that people could be or might be saved through their decisions.

Yet it is obvious that grace can only be grace when given as a gift and applied freely, this being the glory of God and not that of man, we do not and cannot apply the grace of God to ourselves.

That's why emotional enmass decisions for Christ rarely produce people with faith in the providential powers and saving graces of God, God is not honored for this.

I know I'm a little off topic but this is the presumption of the modern day Baptist Evangelical Churches in my country.

July 02 2013 10 responses Vote Up Share Report

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
The Free-Will Baptists are a denomination that began in two parts. One was a simple Baptist church planted in 1780 by Benjamin Randall, who had begun to doubt the scriptural soundness of Calvinism, in New Hampshire. The other was a church planted by Pau lPalmer in 1727 in North Carolina. The groups did not take on the name 'Free Will' Baptist for over twenty years. 

'Free Will' was a term used in a derogatory sense to mock those with more Arminian beliefs and show contempt, such as "heretics, anabaptists, and free-willers". Yet, over time, many believers who rejected Calvanism ended up embracing the nickname.

The Free-Will Baptists got their name from a resolution drafted by the Legislature of New Hamphire:

"Resolved, That the people in this State, commonly known by the name of Freewill *Antipedo Baptist church and society, shall be considered as a distinct religious sect or denomination, with all the privileges, as such, agreeable to the Constitution. "

[* Antipedo means "Opposed to infant baptism"]

Freewill, Free-Will, Free-will, and Free Will were all variations used by different churches and those writing about them for some time, often differing by location, though the group founded by Randall adopted the name "Free Baptists" in 1892. Eventually these varying subgroups were united in 1911 with other Free Baptists.

[Other non-Calvinist baptists of the time were called General or Arminian Baptists, as contrasted with the Calvinist denominations (Calvinist Particular, Association Baptists)].

Now, the more official name "Free Will Baptists" is appropriate for the denomination.

The Free Will Baptists have the core foundation of faith in Christ and salvation by grace alone through faith (Eph 2:8). 

Some beliefs/practices of the denomination that differentiate them from some other denominations are:

-The preaching of baptism by immersion vs. Sprinkling
- Opposition to infant baptism
- Emphasis on God's desire that all men be saved (II Pet 3:9)
- The view that Christ died for everyone (II Cor 5:11-21, John 3:16-18, I John 2:2, etc)
- Each church group is independent/self-governing
- Each church group calls their own elders/pastors
- Each church group owns its own property
- The groups work together for larger ministries, such as mission work and education
- An executive office in Tennessee helps coordinate these ministries as well as gives input for various issues the denomination faces
- many of the independent church groups practice washing the feet of the saints as an ordinance that goes along with the Lord's Supper

You can read more details about what they believe here:

Some interesting side trivia about the Free Will Baptists is that they were perhaps the most vocal church group in New England to stand against slavery.

October 07 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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