Other than the correct definition of a local, New Testament Baptist church, Satan has been successful in destroying the structure of church leadership in "Christendom," mostly because of the influence of Roman Catholicism. Unfortunately, the Catholic influence has also affected the majority of Baptist churches. For example, the Southern Baptist Convention is nothing more than a Baptist form a Catholic hierarchy where the big boys in Nashville control the pastors, money and policies of the convention.
In creating the Roman church, there is hardly anything in the Catholic hierarchy that represents an independent, fundamental Baptist church structure of leadership today. This is also true with the American Baptist Convention.
Unfortunately, many Baptist preacher boys who go to evangelical and non-denominational Bible colleges come out with an unscriptural philosophy of a church structure of leadership which is nothing more than Catholic in philosophy. Even with many Baptist churches, pastors promote their "worship services" on the signs in front of their churches.
Most Protestant churches, although leaving Catholicism in the 16th through the 18th Centuries, still retained many Catholic customs, i.e., the pastor and choir members wear robes, have candles and formal services.
If a mother has several daughters (as Rome did during the Reformation), they will naturally still retain some of the characteristics and personality of the mother, but just as Jesus condemned the Pharisees of His time, their corrupt seed which conceived them came from their whoremonger father, the Devil.
An error spread by Protestants, and unfortunately even by many Baptists, is that the Reformation was a revival. Of course, we know that the Reformation was when Martin Luther, then an Augustinian Catholic monk, realized that salvation was, according to the Bible, by faith in Jesus and not works. This was contrary to what he had learned in the Catholic Church which states that salvation is by works, and at best, by faith and works. This is where Lutheranism was born.
Lutheranism and the other Protestant denominations which came out of Catholicism is not true Bible Christianity. God does not think so when He states that Rome was the Mother of Harlots! In other words, Rome is the mother, and the Protestants which came from Rome are her harlots! The world wants to put Baptists into the same category as the Protestants. Baptists are NOT Protestants. Baptists never came from Catholicism as Luther and the other reformers did. As a matter of fact, the term "Reformation" is a misnomer. Although a born again and courageous man, Luther never reformed the Catholic church, as was his intention; Luther just created another daughter of Rome. We see this most evident today with the Lutherans and Catholics getting back together. The harlot daughters are going back home to Mama for the "family reunion!"
And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. Revelation 17:9:
In Revelation 17:9, God states that Great Babylon is a city on "seven mountains." Most Bible students know that Rome has traditionally been called the "City on Seven Hills." Lutheranism is one of the harlots come out of her Mother, the Great Whore, Rome. Although Luther was a courageous man who fought the Catholic system somewhat, he retained most of the Catholic organizational system, formal, liturgical services, holy days, chanting of prayers, and music. This does not sound like Bible fundamentalism, because it is not. I do not hate Lutherans, because, before I was saved, I was one. I was confirmed in the Lutheran church, and I know what I am talking about.
Although the Southern and American Baptist conventions follow a centralized structure of power, this practice is not scriptural, and is more Catholic than Baptistic. Catholicism is nothing more than a mixture of the Old Testament priesthood, Roman paganism, and a type of pseudo-Christianity. In early first Century Rome, paganism and Gnosticism were prevalent. By the time Constantine proclaimed peace with the persecuted Christians (Pax Roma, and the Edict of Milan) in 313 A.D., the pagan philosophies of the day had taken on a "Christian" flavor, thus forming the Catholic cocoon that would metamorphasize into the Catholic Whore in 325 A.D. at the Council of Nicea, and her harlot daughters which came out of the Reformation, beginning with Lutheranism in 1517. Throughout Catholic history, Rome would add many more traditions that would eventually replace and even supersede biblical doctrines.