A Message from Our Pastor
Greetings! Welcome to our web site. I am pleased and grateful that you have taken time from your busy schedule to visit this internet site. Although I don’t know the reason for your visit, I trust that you will find that for which you are looking. Would you be willing to give me a couple of minutes of your time before you move on into our site?
Evangelical Christianity can be confusing today. A variety of different approaches to “doing church” has developed over the past generation or so. Some churches are very traditional, still operating under the banner of fundamentalism and evangelicalism; others are innovative, and pride themselves on being “cutting edge.” Many of these churches have adopted a market-driven, consumer-oriented approach to ministry. They tend to adopt the latest fads, among which are rock and hip-hop music, informality, and messages which reflect the latest trends in pop-culture and pop-psychology. The labels usually affixed to these churches are “seeker-sensitive” or “purpose-driven.” Some who profess Christ have wearied of this approach to organized religion, and have retreated into medieval mysticism and the practice of contemplative prayer, among them those churches which are generally called “emerging” or “postmodern.”
But to be honest with you, labels don’t mean much anymore. You really can’t tell a book by its cover! And that’s frustrating for people who are seeking a church home, especially if they are new in the community. So let me help you understand the character and nature of Wading River Baptist Church (WRBC).
First, it is increasingly difficult to find churches committed to the systematic, sequential exposition of God’s Word. Biblical exposition is dying a slow death in America, but biblical exposition is the cornerstone of our ministry here at WRBC. We meet evangelical believers who have come to Long Island with considerable exposure through radio and television to the ministries of men like John MacArthur, Chuck Swindoll, David Jeremiah, and Adrian Rogers, among others—all men committed to expounding the Word. Often these friends have told us that they have had a hard time finding a church where the pastor shared the same approach to Scripture as these men. At Wading River Baptist Church, you will find that kind of church. Exposition is our highest priority. In a day of superficiality, we still care about sound theology. Truth matters, and it is not relative! I have personally accepted the Bible’s commission to “preach the Word” (2 Tim 4:1-5), and that commitment is not negotiable.
Second, we are boldly evangelical, by which we mean that we hold to the great doctrines that have marked faithful Christian churches for the past two millennia. We believe in the inerrancy and authority of God’s Word, the Bible. We hold to the doctrines of the Trinity and the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God is the sovereign Creator of all things. We believe that the Bible teaches that salvation is by sovereign, free grace through faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross. We believe in the utter depravity of mankind and the absolute necessity of repentance for eternal life. We believe in the sanctification of believers through the work of the Holy Spirit, and we look forward to the personal, visible, and bodily return of the Lord Jesus for His Church, and hold to the reality of a literal heaven and a literal hell. If you know a little theology, you will recognize what I mean when I add that we are Calvinistic in our understanding of salvation and premillennial in our understanding of Bible prophecy. We do not agree with the teachings and practices of the modern Charismatic Movement.
Third, many churches all over America are eliminating their denominational labels. In fact, many don’t even want to be called “churches” any longer. We are not one of them. We are a Baptist church. “Church” because that is a biblical term which we have no right to abandon. It designates the assembly of God’s regenerate people in a local congregation committed to the fivefold purpose outlined in Acts 2:41-47. That purpose includes worship, teaching, fellowship, ministry, and evangelism. Neither are we ashamed to retain the name “Baptist.” A study of Baptist history shows that those churches which have consistently and uncompromisingly held to the historic Baptist distinctives have been marked by a faithfulness to Scripture unmatched by many other denominations.
Fourth, there are certain biblical values that we consider indispensable to authentic Christianity. Among them we would include reverence and order. Consistent with these values, we maintain a traditional approach to worship, using the best of biblically sound music from the past and the present. Our music is a ministry, not a performance. We believe that music is a means of worship, not entertainment. Furthermore, we believe in the relevance of biblical morality for the lives and homes of God’s people. Christians should strive to live holy lives, separated from the sins accepted as normal by our secular culture.
Fifth, we are a church where the members love and care for each other. There is a genuine family spirit here at WRBC, and as we like to say, “You have a friend at Wading River Baptist Church!” We think you will appreciate the warmth with which you are greeted and welcomed to our fellowship.
By the way, we are not a perfect church! Actually, there is no such thing, and we readily acknowledge that we are sinners saved by grace, and currently growing in our commitment to Jesus Christ. But we are a loving, faithful congregation of committed Christians who would welcome the opportunity to worship with, love, and serve you. If I haven’t answered all your questions—well, that’s what the rest of our web site is for! And if you still need answers, you’re always invited to e-mail me or give me a call here at the church.
Thanks again for looking us up and taking the time to consider our ministry. I’ll look forward to seeing you soon here at Wading River Baptist Church!
—Pastor Ron Glass