Information of Interest

Welcome to Liberty Baptist Church! We appreciate your interest in participating in this ministry. The local church is a very important aspect of the Christian life, and it’s our hope that this material will be helpful in giving you a fuller understanding of the ministry of Liberty Baptist Church.

 

Contents:

What is a Church?

History of Liberty Baptist Church

Purpose of Liberty Baptist Church

The Theological Position of Liberty Baptist Church

Requirements for Membership in Liberty Baptist Church

Responsibilities for Members of Liberty Baptist Church

Where We Stand on the Vital Issues of the Day

 

What is a Church?

The word “church” means a called out assembly. The word could be translated assembly or congregation.  There are two usages for “church” in the New Testament.

  1. The universal or invisible church (1 Cor 12:13; Col 1:18)

The universal or invisible church (or body of Christ) is composed of all believers during the Church Age (the time from Pentecost to the Rapture) whether dead, alive, or yet to be conceived.

  1. The visible or local church (1 Cor 1:1-2; Phil 1:2)

The visible or local church is the visible expression of the body of Christ at any one particular place at any one particular time.

A local church is a group of baptized believers (Acts 2:41), organized with the offices of pastor and deacon (Phil 1:1, 1 Tim 3:1-13), proclaiming a common faith or body of truth (Acts 2:42, Jude 3), observing the ordinances of baptism (Matt 28:19) and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:42), carrying out the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20), meeting regularly (Heb 10:25, Acts 20:7)

NoteBiblically speaking, the church is composed of the people; it is not the building.  The building is where the church meets.

1 Timothy 3:15:  the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

 

History of Liberty Baptist Church

LBC began as Antigo Bible Church in 1956 in Antigo, Wisconsin with Richard Marsceau as pastor. The church conducted its first service at the present location on September 28, 1957. Pastor Billy Mauldin was one of the first pastors of the church and during his tenure, on July 31, 1961, the church changed its name to Bible Baptist Church. The property was paid off in 1975. Jim Stevens was pastor from 1985 to 2000. Don Elie pastured briefly (Feb. 2001 to Nov. 2001) until his untimely death in an automobile accident. Under his leadership the church changed its name to Liberty Baptist Church. Brad Anderson has been the pastor since April 2003. Pastor Anderson received his education at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown, Wisconsin (B.A., M.A.) and at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary in Michigan (M.Div). He completed the Doctor of Ministry program at Central Seminary in Minneapolis in 2009. He has served churches in Michigan and Wisconsin. Feel free to contact him if you have any questions or spiritual needs.

Purpose of Liberty Baptist Church

Briefly stated, Liberty Baptist Church exists to Glorify God, exalting and honoring him in every aspect of the ministry. Our purpose statement states that Liberty Baptist Church exists to glorify God by making and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ. We do so by means of the following major responsibilities:

  •  Edification of the saints (1 Cor 14:3; Eph 4:12-13)

Edification means “to build up.”  A primary goal of the church is to build up believers, that is, help them to become fully devoted and mature followers of Jesus Christ. How does that happen?

  •  Through biblical and theological education  (Acts 20:27; 2 Tim 3:16-17)

The ministry of the Word ought to enjoy a central place in the life of a church.  The church is responsible to teach the Bible and biblical theology to its people.

  • Through the use of spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 14:12)
  •  Through following qualified leaders  (2 Cor. 10:8)
  •  Evangelism of the lost (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)

Churches are responsible to spread the gospel, to “make disciples of all nations.” The church helps Christians grow in their faith so they can communicate the gospel message to others who need to be saved. The church provides opportunities for people to be involved in local evangelism as well as support missionaries who take the gospel around the world.

  • Worship (Col 3:16-17)

Worship means to exalt, to lift up or to honor. Believers gather together in a church to offer their praise and adoration to God. Participation in the worship service of one’s church is a primary means of worship.  Listening to the Bible as it’s preached and taught, praying, singing, giving, and confession of sin are elements of worship.

  •  Fellowship (Rom 12:10; Phil 2:1-4)

Fellowship is participation or communion of believers with each other based on their union with Christ.  Unity and brotherly love among the members of a church are distinguishing marks of genuine believers.

The Bible places great emphasis on unity among the people of the church.  Since unity is so important, believers should encourage and support it.

  •  Service (Gal 5:13)

The various ministries of the church present members with many opportunities to serve one another. Every member should find a place of service.

Discipleship (growth, maturity) is a significant emphasis at Liberty Baptist Church. In order to make a disciple (the goal), we have to have an image in mind of what a disciple is.  What does a disciple look like?  A disciple is a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ.  A disciple is saved and baptized, regular and active in worship, being edified and edifying others, practicing biblical stewardship, and engaged in evangelism.  This is the goal or outcome that the church is aiming for in the life of every person it comes in contact with.

What are the steps in reaching the goal of making disciples?

  1. Reach the unsaved with the gospel and help them come to faith in Christ.
  2. Help newly converted believers understand the necessity of baptism and church membership, and encourage them to make necessary changes in their lives.
  3. Help church members develop their spiritual gifts and devote themselves to spiritual disciplines, such as personal devotions, faithful church participation, stewardship, and evangelism.
  4. Channel members into areas of significant ministry.
  5. Encourage committed, faithful members to assume positions of leadership (e.g., Sunday school teacher, deacons, women’s ministries, etc).

Our goal at LBC is to move everyone through this process: salvation > dedication > maturation > service > leadership. Every member of the church is somewhere in this process and should be moving forward.

 Understanding Our Values

  •  Doctrinal Purity:  LBC upholds and defends orthodox evangelical doctrine. The teaching of sound doctrine will be a cornerstone of unity and ministry at LBC.
  • Biblical Separation:  God is holy and He requires holiness from believers and from churches. LBC has no fellowship with people, movements and/or cultural expressions that are unholy or unbiblical. We maintain a high commitment to truth and want to avoid all forms of error and spiritual compromise.
  •  Member Ministry:  LBC is committed to the idea that the members of the church accomplish the primary objectives of the ministry. Only those who have committed themselves to membership will serve in the main ministries of the church.
  •  Servant Leadership:  Jesus came to serve, and he requires that those in positions of leadership also think of themselves as servants.
  •  Family Emphasis:  LBC seeks to promote strong families.
  •  Friendly Atmosphere:  LBC seeks to be warm, welcoming and friendly to all who attend.
  •  Financial Integrity:  LBC is honest and transparent in its financial dealings. Those who support the ministry should be confident that the church is not squandering resources.
  •  Progressive Excellence:  LBC seeks to develop and maintain excellence in all of its ministries. Professionalism and orderliness will prevail at LBC.

The Theological Position of Liberty Baptist Church

Liberty Baptist Church is a fundamental, independent, Baptist church. What does that mean?

  •  Fundamental: Liberty Baptist Church is characterized by the following ideas:
  1. Commitment to the fundamental doctrines of orthodox Christianity, like the verbal, plenary (full) inspiration of the Bible, the resurrection of Christ, the deity of Christ and salvation by grace through faith. Fundamentalists believe the Bible is literally true and accurate, the only rule for faith and practice.
  2. Separation from sin and false doctrine. Fundamentalists emphasize separation from the world and holiness of lifestyle. They also insist on separation from wrong doctrine and from those who teach it. They refuse to cooperate with those who deny important biblical doctrines. A primary emphasis of fundamentalists is their desire to expose error and separate from it. This is the key, essential distinction of Fundamentalism.
  3. Militancy or zeal. Fundamentalists tend to be very blunt in exposing and rebuking those who have departed from the faith. They are aggressive and assertive in their defense of the truth and their exposure of error.
  •  Independent: Liberty Baptist is not currently a part of any larger denominational organization. That is, nobody outside of the church has any influence over the church. The members of the church administrate the church without any outside interference.
  •  Baptist: Liberty Baptist endorses and follows the biblical distinctions of Baptists. These include: the Bible as the sole authority for faith and practice (2 Tim 3:16-17), the autonomy of the local church (1 Cor 5:4-5, 12-13, 6:1-5), the priesthood of the believer (Heb 4:16; 1 Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6), two ordinances: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:41-42), soul liberty (Rom 14:5, 12; 1 John 2:27), regenerate church membership (Acts 2:41, 47), two offices: pastor and deacon (Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:1-13), and separation of church and state (Matt 22:21).

Liberty Baptist stands against the compromises common within evangelicalism today. We do not use or endorse “Christian” rock music, the marketing/seeker-sensitive/purpose-driven model, or any other method that is not in keeping with the character and glory of God. Most would consider LBC to be a conservative, traditional congregation. Our worship is reverent and serious, not casual and worldly. That does not imply that we are behind the times, ignorant or arrogant. But we do desire to make sure that we do all things in a way that would honor and please our Lord. We see much in the modern church that we find inappropriate for use at LBC.

 

Requirements for Membership in Liberty Baptist Church

The initial requirements: salvation and baptism

  • Salvation (Acts 2:41,47)

A dearly held principle of Baptist churches is regenerate church membership.  That is, only those who can give a reasonable testimony of salvation are considered for membership.  This obviously prohibits infants from membership, as well as anyone else who does not have a legitimate testimony of salvation.

  •  Baptism (Acts 2:41)

Normally, when one gets saved, he is shortly thereafter baptized.  This is the clear NT pattern.  The church then votes to accept the person into membership.  If a person has a legitimate testimony of salvation, has been baptized, and has evidence of an orderly way of life, he may expect to be welcomed into the membership of the church.

The continuing requirement:  an orderly walk. In order to remain a member in good standing, the church member must live a consistently righteous, although not perfect, lifestyle (2 Thes 3:1).  Those who persist in open sin can expect rebuke and correction from other church members. Those who stubbornly continue in an ungodly lifestyle will be excommunicated from the assembly (Matt 18:16-17; 1 Cor 5).

One can join LBC through profession of faith and baptism, or by transfer of membership from another church of like faith and practice.

 

The Responsibilities of Membership

  •  Attendance (Acts 20:7, Heb 10:24-25)

This is not sporadic, hit-and-miss attendance, but faithful participation.  A church member should strive to support all the services and activities of his church that pertain to him.

  •  Giving (1 Cor 16:2)

The sacrificial financial giving of the members of a church funds the ministry of that church.  The local church is both the collection and distribution point for the money Christians give.  Members should seek to give a significant portion of their income to sustain and expand the ministry of their church and the spread of the gospel around the world.

  • Fellowship (Acts 2:42)

Fellowship is more than just social interaction.  The fellowship that church members have with each other is based not only on their common bond of faith, but also on their common commitment to one another as members of the same church. Members of a church have made a pledge and a commitment to one another as outlined in the church agreement (covenant).

  •  Ministry (Gal 5:13)

Ministry is simply service. Everyone should have a place of service within the church. At LBC, we emphasize member ministry—only members can participate in most of the ministries of the church. Those who are members of other churches of like faith and practice may participate from time to time, but those who are not members of LBC or of another good church will rarely participate in any significant aspect of service at LBC.

  •  Accountability (Gal 6:1-3)

Members of the church are accountable to one another. This means that when a member is guilty of sin, a fellow member may encourage or rebuke him in a spirit of love. Those who respond to such confrontation with a repentant spirit will be restored to fellowship within the church. Those who refuse to turn from their sin will be disciplined out of the church.

What are some offenses for which the church would impose discipline on an erring member?

  1. Doctrinal departure: believing and/or teaching false doctrine (Rom 16:17). When a church member who should know better affirms and/or teaches false doctrine in essential matters of faith and practice, and refuses to submit to the direction of legitimate church leaders, the church must remove the erring member.
  2. Divisive spirit: causing division and discord within the church; spreading rumors, gossip, lies, etc. (Titus 3:10)
  3. Disorderly conduct: participating in behavior that is inappropriate for Christians (2 Thes 3:6). When a member is violating clear behavioral commands from Scripture, the church must impose discipline.

Prospective members should consult the church constitution for a full explanation of requirements, expectations, policies and procedures of LBC. No one should join the church without a clear understanding of these matters. Those who join are making a commitment to follow the principles contained in the official documents of the church—the Bible, the church covenant, constitution and policies. They also agree to follow the ongoing decisions of the church. Those members who find themselves in disagreement with the direction the church is taking are free to leave. Those who openly, defiantly violate the will of the church will be disciplined out of the church.

 

Where We Stand on the Vital Issues of the Day

Political/Social Issues

  • Abortion: LBC is against abortion because it is murder. A child living inside the womb is just as human as one living outside of it. The fetus is not a disposable blob of tissue; neither is it merely a part of the mother’s body. Adoption is a good alternative to abortion.
  • Homosexuality/LGBTQ+/Trans-gender: LBC is against homosexual practices and the homosexual agenda for our country. Sodomy is not just an alternative lifestyle; it is gross sin, an abomination in God’s eyes. Gender (sex) is physically and genetically established and cannot be reversed. We refuse to recognize any kind of transition from one sex to the other. Marriage exists between one man and one woman only. Those habitually, unrepentantly violating God’s established purposes for human sexuality face God’s judgment and the disapproval of the church. One caught in a sexually deviant lifestyle may find redemption and freedom in Christ.
  • Political/Social Action: The church has no political commission. As a church we will not endorse any political candidates for office. We may inform the church regarding political issues that impact our church and the Christian life, however. The church has funds available to help those in need, and generally those funds will be directed toward those who participate in the ministry of LBC.

Religious Issues

  • The King James Version of the Bible: LBC recognizes the value and contribution that the KJV has made to English-speaking Christians. Many members of LBC use the KJV and it is the common version used in preaching and teaching in our church. However, we are not KJV-Only, and we do see the value of some modern versions. Occasionally the pastor or teachers may quote from or reference other versions. The Bible version issue will not be a point of contention and disunity at LBC.
  •  Lordship salvation vs. easy believism: LBC teaches that an aspect of salvation is a recognition of who Jesus was and is—the Lord. At the point of salvation, one must make a conscious decision to follow Christ in obedient, repentant faith. One is not saved through mere obedience, but genuine faith does at least acknowledge that Jesus has authority over one’s life.
  •  Calvinism vs. Arminianism: LBC believes in the total depravity of mankind, unconditional election of believers, regenerating grace and the perseverance of the saints. We believe that a genuine believer cannot lose his salvation. Christ’s atoning death was sufficient for all (unlimited) yet efficient only for believers.
  •  Sanctification: LBC teaches that the believer is progressively sanctified, starting from the point of salvation. We do not hold to a second, crisis dedication experience being necessary for growth.  We do not see “carnal” Christianity as a legitimate long-term category of Christian life. We expect believers to progress in holiness and in their knowledge of God and the Bible. This growth occurs as believers “hunger and thirst after righteousness” (Matt 5:6). Those lacking evidence supporting their profession of faith cannot enjoy assurance that they are genuinely saved.
  • “Christian” Psychology: LBC holds that the Bible has the answers for all of man’s soul problems. We do not see the need to incorporate the dubious and dangerous findings of secular psychology into our counseling. Simple obedience to biblical principles will solve most personal problems. This does not suggest that biblical counseling can solve genuine medical problems or that it addresses other purely physical issues.
  •  Ecumenism: LBC refuses to cooperate with those who reject the clear teaching of the Bible. We seek fellowship only with churches of like faith and practice.
  • Charismatic Movement: LBC does not align itself with the charismatic movement. We do not practice or expect the appearance of the apostolic sign-gifts described in the Bible. We do believe in being Spirit led (i.e., controlled) and in practicing the gifts and fruit of the Spirit.

The pastor would be happy to answer any questions regarding Liberty Baptist Church.