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65 Things Southern Baptists Didn't Teach Me About Faith

I think about this denomination thing often. I joke that every time I read a book where an author tells stories about their Christian faith tradition, I decide that’s the denomination I want to be. Visiting churches has become a hobby of mine.


What am I really seeking in all this wandering?


Recently, I had this idea to list the things my Southern Baptist upbringing didn’t teach me. Beautiful expressions of faith, often exercising all five of our God-given senses. I immediately balked at the concept. Southern Baptists gave me a solid foundation and because of their teaching, I have a thriving, wonderful walk with Jesus. If I were a betting woman, I’d wager you weren’t taught about all the things on this list either.


Yet my heart cry is to commune with Jesus in every way I can. It’s not about criticizing the faith of my childhood.


Except that’s what it was. The faith of a child. For every aspect of faith the Southern Baptists didn’t give me, they still did give me good things. Through an emphasis on the Lottie Moon offering and GA’s, they gave me a heart for worldwide missions. I gained a wealth of Bible knowledge; including so many Bible stories, the memorization of verses and familiarity with important passages of Scripture. At seven years old, I asked Jesus to be my personal Savior and I meant it. I cannot say enough about the sweet fellowship and the amazing potluck dinners. (Where else can you go and get four different kinds of meatloaf in one sitting?) Perhaps most importantly, they gave me faith wings.


Did you know when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the doors of Wittenberg Castle Church, he didn’t plan on leaving the Catholic Church and starting a whole protestant movement? He wanted to start a conversation. Maybe John Calvin, John Wesley, and so many other church founders were just looking for more of Jesus within the walls of the church.


Perhaps I’ll never settle my denominational unrest this side of heaven. I don’t feel I can call only one faith tradition home, which should come as no surprise. After all, as believers, we aren’t home yet.




1) Liturgical tradition


2) Stations of the Cross


3) Ash Wednesday Service


4) Prayer Kneelers


5) Midnight Christmas Eve Mass


6) Praying the Rosary


7) Mantilla


8) Wine for Communion


9) Apostle’s Creed


10) Nicene Creed


11) Daily Examen


12) Anointing with oil


13) Blessings from a Priest


14) Infant Baptism


15) Holy Water




16) Church Calendar


17) Season of Lent


18) Fish on Fridays (during Lent)


19) Advent


20) Christmastide


21) Eastertide


22) Pentecost Sunday


23) Ordinary Time


24) Education about the saints


25) Confession


26) Prostration as an act of worship


27) Incense


28) Lighting of Candles


29) Lamentation


30) Feasting


31) Service in Latin


32) Passover Seder


33) Purim


34) Sukkoth


35) Hanukkah


36) Rosh Hashanah


37) Prayer Shawl (Tallit)


38) Mezuzah


39) Menorah


40) Bat Mitzvah


41) Tefillin


42) Service in Hebrew


43) Education about Martin Luther & other reformers 


44) Apocrypha


45) Catechism


46) Homemade Bread for Lord’s Supper


47) Female Pastors


48) Dancing


49) Theological Discussions over Craft Beer


50) Formal, traditional prayers


51) Prayer Book


52) The story of Jael


53) The story of Phoebe


54) The story of Junia


55) The story of Jephthah


56) Prayer Bench


57) Modern-day prophets


58) Speaking in tongues


59) Icons


60) Venerating the Icons


61) Orthodox Rosary (Jesus Prayer) 


62) Prayer Rope


63) Antidoron


64) Monasteries


65) Service in Greek


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