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Unity in Faith

What is the difference?

By Dean Honeycutt

Mitchell Countydean and pam honeycutt


Baptists can sometimes be like the two old Indians shooting arrows at each other. One hides behind a rock and the other a large oak tree. They shoot arrows at each other, missing intentionally and not really wanting to hurt the other person. They continue to hurl remarks at one another and let the arrows fly. Until one yells out “What tribe are you with?” the other responds proudly “My great ancestor was Chief Black Bear.” The other answers back “My great ancestor is Chief Black Bear.” Realizing they are from the same tribe but different campgrounds they shake hands and become friends.

Being Baptist does not get you to heaven, nor does having your name on a church roll. I think we all understand that. No denomination will get you to heaven. To have eternal life you must be born again. Jesus Christ paid my sin debt on the cross so that I might repent of my sin and trust in Him to save me. Grace through Faith saves us apart from works. Early New Testament churches were not labeled by denominational names. Church brands did not come until much later when organized groups of Christians became distinct in what they taught from scripture. It is this distinction that sets us apart.

For example, baptism by full body immersion in water is a distinct Baptist practice in contrast to sprinkling water on someone. The inerrancy of Scripture is God-breathed and recorded by Holy men as the Holy Ghost moved them is a core Baptist distinction. Only the sixty-six books of the Bible are God inspired. Jesus Christ is the eternal God conceived of the virgin Mary, fully God and fully man without sin is a core Baptist doctrine. These are just a few of the core Baptist doctrines and early New Testament beliefs.

I affiliate with a Baptist church because their doctrine and teaching are close to what God’s Word teaches. As a Christian, it is biblical to belong and serve in a local New Testament church. I can not serve God and follow Jesus the way the Bible describes apart from water baptism and being active in a Bible-believing evangelical New Testament church. Hebrews 10:25 25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

So, to answer the question of the title of this article, what is the difference between Missionary, Independent, Southern, and American Baptist churches? Nothing. Doctrinal and core beliefs are identical and have been for hundreds of years. The problem we have is when we shoot at each other over policy and procedure and cause disunity in the body of Christ. We have more that draws us together than separates us. It is the devil who wants to deceive and destroy. The Holy Ghost will unify, convict, and draw the Body of Christ together. Why? 1 John 4:19–20 “19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”

So, we belong to the same tribe, every nation and every tongue working together for God’s glory and His Kingdom. We are all working in the same garden just hoeing in different rows. I am not suggesting that other Bible-believing Gospel-preaching churches are in the wrong. I do not want to be misunderstood. Every born-again Holy Ghost-filled Christian should work together for the glory of God.

For Him,

Pastor Dean Honeycutt.


Pastor Dean Honeycutt shepherds Snow Hill Baptist Church in Bakersville, NC. He may be reached at 828-385-0213,, or visit their website at

You can read more good Christian news from Dean HERE.