Why Baptists Cannot Unionize With Others
by Buell H. Kazee
In the first place, Baptists are unique, or they or nothing. That is, they are different. There is no point to their being just another denomination. If they can possibly unite with any other religious body, and still remain true to the Bible,
they ought to do it. A man ought not to be a Baptist unless the Word of God impels him to be. There is no point to our being separate, calling ourselves by another name, if we are not called of God to stand as no other people do. God is not the author of this present confusion of denominations, and, if Baptists did not exist long before there were any denominations, they have no right to their claim.
To be honest, then, and consistent with our claims, we originated with John the Baptist and Jesus Christ, or we arose along with modern denominations. If the latter, then we cannot claim to be Scriptural, for the Lord had New Testament churches long before that. I do not mean that there has to be Apostolic succession. But I do insist that there must be Apostolic identity in experience, doctrine and practice. No religious group has any right to call itself a Scriptural church if it cannot identify itself with the apostles in experience, doctrine and practice. Baptists take the position that they can do this. If they can, logically, all who disagree with them are wrong.
We assume, therefore, that Baptists are right and can so identify themselves. Logically, then, all who disagreed with them in experience, fundamental doctrine and practice are wrong. (All who disagree with us ought to have this conviction about their position or give it up).
I would not say that others are not saved. There are, doubtless, in many denominations, those who are saved. But I definitely declare that all those who are saved were saved as Baptists were, and as they preach. In many cases they are saved in spite of their doctrine instead of by it. They are saved by the truth with Baptists teach.
Now, here comes a brother into my study, a pastor of another denomination who believes that we all ought to „get together.” He insists that I ought to attend his revival meeting and help them; that he would be glad to attend ours and help us.
Why couldn’t we all get together? I said, „Do you mean that?” „Yes,” he replied, „I certainly do.” I said, „Would you accept me as a member of your church?” To which he replied,
„Certainly.” „Just as I am?” I insisted. „Exactly!” he said. „Would you accept all the people in our church who are like me just as they are?” I continued. „Yes siree!” he answered. He was enthusiastic. Then I said, „Well, what is wrong with
us?” „Why, nothing,” he replied, „except that you hold yourselves aloof and won’t join in with the rest of us.”
Then I hit him the body blow. I said, „if there is nothing wrong with us as we are, and you would accept us as we are, why don’t you just bring your folks down and join us?”
„Yes, but,” he replied, „you would insist on our being baptized again.” „But you say you would accept us even though we hold to that belief,” I said. He was embarrassed. I continued, „We were here long before you were. You cannot date back more than a hundred years or so. We’ve established positive proof of apostolic antiquity. Why don’t you join us, if there is nothing wrong with us other than that we do not join you?”
He became a bit heated. „Yes, but you are unfair; you are trying to shut us out,” he said. „Not on your life,” I answered. „The door of our church is open to all who come professing faith in Jesus as Saviour and who will submit to baptism as
a confession of that faith.”
That closed the door. Then he said, „But why can’t we come and take the Lord’s Supper with you?” I replied with the question: „Do you believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are church ordinances?” „Yes,” was the reply. Then said I,
„Why do you want one of our ordinances while you refuse the other?” This brought and end to the discussion.
I have recorded this conversation to show my reader where such logic leads to. The utter silliness of a man clinging to another denomination, contending that they are right and we are wrong, but at the same time wanted to have church
fellowship with us! Why doesn’t he give up the idea that he is right if he thinks we are all right? And if he doesn’t think we are right, why does he want to join us or have us join him?
Right here is all the reason Baptists need to keep them from unionizing with other denominations. The silly idea of telling somebody he is wrong but that just the same you will endorse him and fellowship him! Nobody has a right to claim
allegiance to a denomination or church, then at the same time prostitute that allegiance by fellowshipping others. He ought to get in or get out.
The argument comes: „But we do not mean to have you Baptists join us. We just want you to come over and attend our services occasionally and join us in revival efforts.” To which I answer in the words of a good brother and friend of mine, „if I could fellowship another denomination or ‘church’ for one hour, I could, and ought to, for life. If I can justify a heresy for an hour, I ought to be willing to stick to it longer.”
Well, so much for the logic of the matter. It just will not stand.
But there is something more. Christians are made by experience. Churches are composed of Christians associated in experience; yes, but more, in expression. A church is not
only to be something, it must also preach something.
Our common experience is our salvation,; the fact is in our souls. But in a church there must be common expression in doctrine and teaching about that salvation. We may have received a common experience from the Lord, but our
interpretation of that experience may differ. At least it seems so. I say I was saved through faith in Christ. The Campbellite
says he was saved by faith and baptism. Fact is, if he is saved at all, he was saved exactly as I was. But he differs with me on the interpretation of how he was saved. Granted that we have had a common experience, he or I one has erred in
the directions we give to others of how to be saved. Whichever of us is wrong will doubtless lead many others astray and deceive them. It matters what a church
preaches just as much as what the church is.
Now, if I am preaching that I was saved without baptism and he says he was saved by it, and each of us contends that his preachment is Scriptural, can I endorse his preaching and be faithful to what I believe the Bible teaches? Certainly not! I can no more endorse an heretical doctrine than I can an hereticalexperience. Baptist will disdain the heretical experience of the Pentecostals who claim to speak in tongues. They have no more right to endorse a heresy in doctrine than they do a heresy in experience. But you say, „You don’t have to endorse what they preach in other denominations, they just want you to have Christian fellowship with them.” I
reply that Christian fellowship is one thing, church fellowship is another. I can have Christian fellowship with anyone who has been born again and who is earnestly seeking the truth, but this fellowship is wholly on the ground of
experience, not of interpretation and expression.
A church is more than fellowship in experience, it is a fellowship in doctrine and practice. It may be that we may find Christian fellowship on the basis of experience, but when we enter the realm of the church, we must require fellowship in doctrine and practice. Christians cannot differ on experience, but they may differ on the interpretation of that experience.
I cannot sit with another brother in the realm of church relationships without endorsing what he is preaching unless I am there to oppose it. So I said to the brother referred to above: „Here in my study, you can say you have been born
again. If so, I can talk with you in the spirit of a Christian and feel that attitude in you. This is Christian fellowship. But when I go over to your church and, by my presence and support of your meeting, acquiesce in what you are doing, I
undeniably tell the public that I am supporting your views and recognizing your work to be according to the Word of God, This I cannot do. I must meet you, if at all, on the common ground of experience alone, not on the ground of church
No man has any business joining any church unless he believes it to be identified with the churches found in the New Testament. If he has done this, there is no honest ground anywhere in the world where he can give approval of any kind to any other and be logical.
The Devil And The Baptists
E. G. Cook
Former Pastor – Philadelphia Baptist Church
(Now In Glory)
For nigh onto two thousand years now the old devil has been on the trail of the Baptists. For some fifteen centuries he tried to wipe them off the face of the earth. But after untold thousands of them had been fed to hungry lions, burned at the stake, beheaded, or buried alive he woke up to the fact that all this just made the Baptists shine all the more brightly. He saw that he was defeating his own purpose. So, in the sixteenth century he opened up his bag of tricks and started the process of weakening the Baptists by means of imitating. He soon
learned that his new churches were working wonders on this thing of Baptist separation from the world. As a result of this, many Baptists were feeling over-confident by the middle of the nineteenth century. They no longer put on all the armour of God as they were commanded in Eph. 6:10-17. As a result of their over-confidence and lack of proper armour, old Satan was able to get a foothold in Baptist Churches. Very soon he made them feel that he was doing them a great favor by his taking over some of the duties that no one but the Lord of glory, who is head over all things to His church, had a right to perform. So long as Baptists looked to the Lord to guide them, He led each church into the study of that part of His Scriptures that the individual church needed most. But, when they turned that part of their church activity over to old Satan he did a wonderful job of selling them on the idea of everybody in his new churches, and in the Baptist Churches studying the same Scriptures at the same time. On the surface this seemed a wonderful thing. No matter where you might attend church you could know before you arrived just what Scriptures would be in the lesson for that day. As we said, that seemed to be a wonderful thing, and Baptists really fell for it. But, let us scrape the thin surface shell off this thing and give it a thorough examination. Would you dare say that all these Baptist Churches were in the same spiritual condition, and that they all needed the same teaching? In II Tim. 3:16 we learn that, along with other things, the Scriptures are profitable for correction. If your church has some erroneous doctrine creeping into her midst, and my church has an altogether different one creeping in, who would say that our churches needed the same treatment? Still that is what the old devil is prescribing. It’s like a physician prescribing the same medication for his pneumonia patient that he does for his diabetic patient. That is why erroneous doctrines have flourished so in our Baptist churches. The one who is prescribing the remedy does not want them corrected.
Now that the old devil had his filthy feet firmly set in the Baptist churches and was making them like it, he was ready to go to work on them. As soon as he got this firm foothold he began to gradually crowd our precious Lord out of His own churches. This is not to say that the devil overpowered our Lord and forced Him out. Not at all. It does mean, however, that when our Lord quickens His saints and furnishes them with all the armour, instructions, and strength they need to withstand the wiles of the devil He places the responsibility of doing that upon them.
That is why we (the Saints) must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. II Cor. 5:10. After a century of this privilege of telling our Lord’s people what to study, and when, let us take a close look and see how well he has succeeded in doing what he wanted to do. Let us, for the sake of your time, skip his trail through the years and pick it up in the year 1964. This trail is so open and so brazen you do not need a trained Indian scout to locate it for you. In John. 3:7 our Lord said to Nicodemus, „Ye must be born again.” In Heb. 9:22 we read, „Without the shedding of blood is no remission.” In I Pet. 1:18-19 we find that we are redeemed, „With the precious blood of Christ,” and in I Cor. 15:3-4 we read, „how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was
buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” Now let us pick up old Satan’s trail in 1964 and see if that is the way he points out. In the Southern Baptist Sunday School Adult quarterly dealing with the lesson for June 7, 1964, you will find on page 38 these words, „Men will be judged by their lives and will be separated accordingly unto their eternal destiny.” You will look at those words in vain for any hint of a „new birth,” any faint shadow of Jesus Christ or of His Cross at Calvary, any slight stain of His precious blood, or any brief mention of His marvelous grace. These damnable words were written by
Franklin M. Segler, a professor at Southwestern Baptist Seminary. Many
unsuspecting Baptists feel that their lessons are written by „screened” Baptists.
If that be true, it seems to me that the old devil did the screening in this case. Just one short month later the old devil put his other foot down. And this time it seems that he slipped in his own filth and really left undeniable proof that he had been there. This time his track is seen in the Southern Baptist Young People’s Training Union quarterly for July 5, 1964. On page six of this quarterly you will find a long list of books recommended to these Baptist young people by the Sunday School Board. These books were to be read in connection with the different lessons in the quarterly. On page 8 dealing with the lesson for July 5, 1 964 Ross Coggins says, „If someone in your union has read NOBODY KNOWS MY NAME or THE FIRE NEXT TIME or ANOTHER COUNTRY by James Baldwin; THE STRENGTH TO LOVE by Martin Luther King, Jr., or BLACK LIKE ME by John Howard Griffin, ask him to report.” By this Ross Coggins meant for some boy in this mixed group to tell what he had read in these books.
Let us just take one of these books, ANOTHER COUNTRY by James Baldwin and examine it closely to see if you would like to have a daughter sit in a union and hear a detailed report given on it. On page 23 and 24 of this book the author describes in detail every step by which a young Negro man enticed a young white woman to commit fornication with him. The author describes in very plain language the act itself, and the results of it. This author, the brazen instrument of hell that he is, has this young white woman saying, „It was so wonderful” and kissing him.
We are told that some of the devil’s heathen temples of the long ago had as many as a thousand prostitutes connected with the temple worship. Could it be that he has in mind converting Baptist churches into that kind of worship? If that is his goal, can you think of a better way for him to start his program than that which he did July 5, 1964? He seems to be working overtime in his efforts to convert our precious Baptist girls of today into his religious prostitutes of tomorrow. And what is so serious about the matter is that the parents of these precious girls seem to be sleeping so soundly. Certainly these young people have every right to trust the Sunday School Board, and to follow their suggestions so long as their parents remain quiet and pay their salaries. We need to put the blame for all this right where it belongs, right squarely on the shoulders of daddy and mother – and granddaddy and grandmother. If they are not willing – do not have the intestinal fortitude to do what God’s precious Word tells them to do in a case like this, may our dear Lord have mercy on their children and grandchildren.
Someone may be thinking that I am trying to tear up the convention, but I
assure you I have no desire to tear up the convention. I am persuaded that it
will continue to grow and grow and grow. In fact, I am really glad that those who
love all the things that are flourishing in the convention have it to enjoy. It is the
few scattered here and there in the convention whose souls are vexed from day
to day by what they see and hear that I am concerned about along with the
unsuspecting youth who stand to suffer so much.
Lot chose the popularity and honor that Sodom heaped upon him, but what
did he gain by it other than a couple of illegitimate sons by his own daughters
and a couple of heathen nations for his offspring? He enjoyed the popularity
and honor first, then suffered the shame and disgrace. My dear God-fearing
Baptist parents how will it be with you? Will you continue to enjoy the fun and
the fried chicken while your children and grandchildren slip into the filth and
slime that you have ignored? It’s up to you. I cannot conceive of a greater insult
that could be thrust in your face than that which the old devil through his very
efficient co-workers in Nashville thrust in your face July 5, 1964. Yes, I have
heard about all that getting in the quarterly by mistake, but I have not found
anyone gullible enough to believe it. Why should we believe it to be an honest
mistake when the „FACTS” show that the Baptist young people were being
prepared to accept this horrible thing during the preceding months? In their
Sunday School quarterly for April May-June 1964 the writer justifies civil strife
on page 34, endorses the Peace Corps, World Health Organization, and
UNICEF on page 40, recommends student exchanges and wheat deals with
communist countries on page 43, supports the UN and urges destruction of
national sovereignty on page 44, and praises the ecumenical movement on
page 50. Then in their training union quarterly for January-February-March
1964 our precious people were told twice on page 50 that the sex act itself is
not wrong. If you want to know where this hellish teaching came from read
pages 9 and 10 of the booklet CALLED TO RESPONSIBLE FREEDOM
published by the communistic, Christ hating, and Bible denying National
Council of Churches. When the Baptist leaders are confronted with this
damnable stuff in the quarterly they tell us that they had the married couples in
mind. That too is so thin God-fearing Baptist parents cannot eat it with a spoon.
Since when did married couples have to be told that the sex act itself is not
wrong? God commanded it in the Old Testament when he told Adam and Eve,
and later Noah and his family to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth. He
sanctioned it in the New Testament when He said the marriage bed is
undefiled. Now these Baptist leaders with courage and conviction tell us, in
effect, „the bed is undefiled” and try to make us think they did not have the
single young people in mind. Baptist parents who are dupes enough to believe
all these horrible things are honest mistakes may very well deserve to have
prostitutes for daughters and granddaughters and whoremongers for sons and
grandsons. Our Baptist young people deserve the best, so for the sake of
these young people who think there can be nothing wrong with all this because
„YOU” are giving it your support, why don’t you do something about it while you
still have your influence? As you recall, Lot waited until his sons-in-law laughed
in his face when he was finally forced to warn them.
It will do very little good for you to just warn these young people. It has been
well said that what you do sounds so loud I cannot hear what you say. Writing a
letter to headquarters may soothe your conscience, but it won’t deliver our
precious youth from the devil’s clutches. There is a way, however, and only one
way that you can remove the responsibility of all this from off your shoulders.
Don’t let me, or any other man tell you what to do about it. Study your
Scriptures on the subject and then do what you KNOW the Lord wants you to
do. Jer. 5:30 says „A wonderful (an appalling) and horrible thing is committed in
the land.” Jer. 51:51 says, „We are confounded, because we have heard
reproach, shame hath covered our faces for strangers are come into the
sanctuaries of the Lord’s house.” Verse 45 of this same chapter says, „My
people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the
fierce anger of the Lord.” II Cor. says, „Wherefore come out from among them,
and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” Rev. 18:4 makes it very plain, „And I heard
another voice from Heaven, saying, come out of her my people that ye be not
par-takers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
It won’t be easy, but you will be awfully glad you did it when you come to II
Cor. 5:10. „Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their
revilings,” Isa. 51 :7b. May the God of all grace see fit to arouse us to our great
danger before the devil and his leaders succeed in their nefarious undertaking.
THE DOWN GRACE CONTROVERSY
In 1887 Spurgeon printed a series of articles denouncing liberal theology in The Sword and the Trowel. The articles declared that the „new theology” had put the Church on the „Down Grade.” They became the spark that ignited the fire storm that swept through the Baptist Church. But the roots of the down Grade Controversy go back some years before its actual ignition in 1887. Actually, several cultural, philosophical, and scientific events that took place in Victorian Britain played a preliminary role. They created a general ehtos that proved conducive to the reception of the „new theology.”
SPURGEON AND THE DOWN GRADE CONTROVERSY
From John MacArthur’s book
„Ashamed of the Gospel”
Facsimile copies of the following documents were compiled by Bob Ross and published by Pilgrim Publications, Pasadena, TX, in a volume titled The „Down Grade” Controversy. That volme is the source of this material.
THE SWORD AND THE TROWEL
This Must Be A Soldier’s Battle
ONE who is very valiant for the truth said to us, „This must be a soldiers’battle.” In that utterance we heartily concur. The gospel of the Lord Jesus is now assailed all along the line. Scarcely a denomination is free from the enemies of the truth: they are within our ranks. In the Church of England the superstitious errorists are more to the front than the skeptical; and it is not an easy warfare which falls to the lot of Evangelicals within the Establishment. How is it they are there? Those who are seeking a decision upon the matters raised by the action of the Bishop of Lincoln, are going straight to the point, and raising the question of Mass or no Mass in the most plain and practical manner. But if the result of the episcopal trial should be unfavorable, every Protestant man and woman should look upon the case as one for the personal conscience, and should, by individual action, drive the Evangelicals to a plain and unmistakable course of action. Among Baptists, the great need is the personal investigation of the matters in debate by the members of our churches. It is clear that the members of the Council have nothing to say except by way of rebuke of any who protest against the growing error. The ministers also cry, „Peace, peace, where there is no peace.” If sturdy individuality took up the matter, and godly men were determined not to remain in league with those who depart from the truth, the issues would be speedy.
A Congregational minister asks for an opportunity for the rank and file of the ministry to speak; and his impression is, that ninety-five percent. Would be found to be on the old lines. We sincerely wish that we could believe it; but we think he puts his percentage far too high. Still, if in our free churches there were fair opportunities for utterance, either by the voice or through the press, we feel confident that the Broad School gentlemen would find themselves very much in the minority. But the hour of free speech will not come till the old Nonconforming spirit asserts itself in the pastors, deacons, and church-members, and the gag is taken off from the religions press. We are glad to hope that by other organs the truth will yet gain liberty to speak through the press. It is possible that a clique is now predominant, and that the mass of the people are misrepresented by them: if it be so, let them declare themselves. The Free Church of Scotland must, unhappily, be for the moment regarded as rushing to the front with its new theology, which is no theology, but an opposition to the Word of the Lord. That church in which we all gloried, as sound in the faith, and full of the martyrs’ spirit, has entrusted the training of its future ministers to two professors who hold other doctrines than those of its Confession. This is the most suicidal act that a church can commit. It is strange that two gentlemen, who are seeking for something newer and better than the old faith, should condescend to accept a position which implies their agreement, with the ancient doctrines of the church; but delicacy of feeling is not a common article nowadays, and the action of creeds is not automatic, as it would be if consciences were tender. In the Free Church there is a Confession, and there are means for carrying out discipline; but these will be worth nothing without the personal action of all the faithful in that community. Every man who keeps aloof from the struggle for the sake of peace, will have the blood of souls upon his head. The question in debate at the Disruption was secondary compared with that which is now at issue. It is Bible or no Bible, Atonement or no Atonement,which we have now to settle. Stripped of beclouding terms and phrases, this lies at the bottom of the discussion; and every lover of the Lord Jesus should feel himself called upon to take his part in an earnest contention for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. From the exceeding boldness of Messrs. Bruce and Dods, we gather that they feel perfectly safe in ventilating their opinions. They evidently reckon upon a majority which will secure them immunity; and our fear is that they will actually gain that which they expect. We are not sanguine enough to believe that they are mistaken. Unless the whole church shall awake to its duty, the Evangelicals in the Free Church are doomed to see another reign of Moderatism. Have they suffered so many things in vain? Will they not now make a stand?
Finding ourselves in a community which had no articles of faith, and seeing deadly error rising up, we had no course but to withdraw. Whether others think fit to do so or not is no part of our responsibility; but nothing can free any true believer from the duty of maintaining pure and undefiled religion in its doctrine, as well as in its practice, by every means in his power. The most quiet country minister, the most retiring deacon or elder, the most obscure Christian man or woman—each one must come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty. The crisis becomes every day more acute: delays are dangerous; hesitation is ruinous. Whosoever is on the Lord’s side must show it at once, and without fail. Let those who so sadly pine for „another reformation,” and a remodeled creed, stand out and say so, and no longer conceal their sentiments, or eat the bread of men at whose most cherished convictions they are stabbing with might and main. Let these be honest, and let the Evangelicals be true. The church expects every man to do his duty. NOTES (FEB. 1890)
A certain newspaper paragraph very kindly attempts to comfort „Mr. Spurgeon at his worst stage of depression concerning the doubts of the day,” by the assurance that religion can never pass away. We can assure our friend that we never thought it could. No fear as to the ultimate victory of the truth of God ever disturbs our mind. We are sure that the doctrines of the gospel will outlive all the dotings of „modern thought.” The trouble is that, for the moment, error is having its own way in certain parts of the visible church, where better things once ruled; and, worse still, that good men will not see the evil, or, seeing it, wink at it, and imagine that it will do no very great deal of harm. It is ours to give warning of a danger which to us is manifest and alarming; and if the warning makes us the butt of ridicule, we must bear it. Our protest is, no doubt, regarded by some as a piece of bigotry, and by others, as the dream of a nervous mind. Neither conjecture is correct; but we speak the words of love and soberness. An American, who enquired of certain leaders in the „Down-Grade” what they thought of Spurgeon’s conduct, was informed that sickness and age had weakened his intellect. This has been their contemptuous method all along; but facts are not to be set aside by such remarks. Be the protester what he may, he declares his protest to be solemnly needful, and he begs for attention to it. It may be the old truth is in the minority, and that those who uphold it are thought to be troublers in Israel, and causers of false alarm: but we are none the less confident that, when good men return to their better selves, they will see differently. Bitterly will some regret that they allowed matters to drift, and drift, till they had wrought incalculable mischief. We have spoken in saddest earnest. It is no pleasure to us to stand apart, and refuse complicity with what we judge to be a great crime. Our witness is on high. The Lord will judge between us and the enemies of the faith in his own good time !
From a Congregational Church a brother writes :—” I have heard several friends say that your pictures of the ‘ Down-Grade ‘ are overdrawn; but in our church they have been photographs. Commencing with denial of eternal punishment, our minister has gone on to talk of ‘Mark’s garbled statements,’ ‘the legend of the Angel’s song,’ and ‘The myth of the Resurrection.’ He says, ‘Christ is the natural son of Joseph and Mary,’ and that ‘the Bible is but one of the Scriptures of the human race.’ …. May the churches heed your warning, and so be saved from our fate !” In this instance, old members are driven out, and all protesters are held up to ridicule in the public prints as bigots wanting in common sense. The churches are, some of them, courting the fate of this church by seeking out clever men for preachers, irrespective of their doctrinal beliefs. But, on the other hand, many are growing cautious, and, having been once bitten, are shy of the new school. The evangelicals in the churches are beginning to be divided from the Broad School; and when the opportunity has occurred, they have been, in some cases, strong enough and bold enough to claim their rights. We wish it were so more generally; but we know several notable instances which put us in good hope that the present tyranny of falsehood will not last for ever. Still, these brighter signs are but gleams in a darkening sky. The men who take the lead are, in many cases, halfhearted as to truth, and they yield themselves up to the dogmatic assertions of the non-evangelical intruders. Tender as mothers to every new heresy-vendor, the men in office in the denominations have a hard, ungenerous side for the faithful adherents of the old gospel. We may go where we will—we are not worth a thought; but the most flippant blasphemer shall have honor for his courage and independence! Happily, this is a small matter to some of us now, for our ecclesiastical relationships are for ever severed; but there is none the less of gross injustice in such conduct towards those who cannot turn their coats, or profess to love what they inwardly abhor.
NOTES (MAY 1891)
NUMBERS of friends now write to say how true our words upon the „Down-grade” were years ago. It is our deep regret that it should be so. We spoke not without knowing what we were about. It was not possible for us to give up all our authorities, nor would it have served any useful purpose to have published names; but we spoke truth which we could not help believing, and spoke it without exaggerating. Matters were even worse than we knew of. We have not only to do with the lion of open unbelief, but with the foxes of craft, who profess to love the gospel which they labor hard to undermine. If we had to bear our witness over again, we should not soften a syllable, but add emphasis to it. Indignant correspondents continually send us notices of amusements held by various churches; certainly, they can hardly become more childish and inane. But we cannot be perpetually recording and talking about these absurdities. Cannot Christian people make their own protests more emphatic in their several districts? It is all very well to send this wretched rubbish to us; but why not sweep it away yourselves? If we had a gracious revival, good people would find better things to do than to get up nigger entertainments, and theatricals.
Our old-fashioned Wesleyan friends must be greatly surprised by the utterances of certain of their leading men; they have great need to look after the professors who train their rising ministry; for if they cannot give a better account of Holy Writ than the divine from Richmond, tutorship is in a poor way. The record given of the meeting, in the newspapers, was more alarming than the actual facts; for the seamy side of the talk was made more prominent than it really was; but the very best we can make of Professor Davison’s paper, and the comments upon it, causes us great apprehension. With the delicate tread which reminds us of Agag, error enters as though it were a well-known and familiar friend. Certain books of the Bible are dealt with in reference to modern criticism with the air of one who has settled the business, an placed the matter beyond dispute. Very modestly as to language, but very dogmatically as to statement, the Professor lay down the law. We do not accept a syllable of that unquestionable result of scholarship which he so coolly propounds. Although upon the doctrines of grace our views differ from those avowed by Arminian Methodists, we have usually found that on the great evangelical truths we are in full agreement, and we have been comforted by the belief that Wesleyans were solid upon the central doctrines. We are truly sorry that we are now placed in doubt. Surely there are voices which will yet be heard. We know that there are hearts that are aching because of this last movement of leading religionists in the downward way but will anyone be bold enough to speak out? Ostracism seems to be dreaded so much, that good men and true hold their tongues. Nevertheless, we know the Holy Spirit did not use words at random, and we shall never consent to that liberalism which, in destroying the shell of the language, really kills the life-germ of the meaning.
„MR. SPURGEON’S CONFESSION OF FAITH.” (AUGUST 1891)
QUITE a stir has been caused lately by the publication of the following document, which has been erroneously called „Mr. Spurgeon’s Confession of Faith,” or „Manifesto”:—
We, the undersigned, banded together in Fraternal Union, observing with growing pain and sorrow the loosening hold of many upon the Truths of Revelation, are constrained to avow our firmest belief in the Verbal Inspiration of all Holy Scripture as originally given. To us, the Bible does not merely contain the Word of God, but is the Word of God. From
beginning to end, we accept it, believe it, and continue to preach it. To us, the Old Testament is no less inspired than the New. The Book is an organic whole. Reverence for the NEW Testament accompanied by skepticism as to the OLD appears to us absurd. The two must stand or fall together. We accept Christ’s own verdict concerning „Moses and all the prophets” in preference to any of the supposed discoveries of so-called higher criticism.
We hold and maintain the truths generally known as „the doctrines of grace.” The Electing Love of God the Father, the Propitiatory and Substitutionary Sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ, Regeneration by the Holy Ghost, the Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness, the Justification of the sinner (once for all) by faith, his walk in newness of life and growth in grace by the active indwelling of the Holy Ghost, and the Priestly Intercession of our Lord Jesus, as also the hopeless perdition of all who reject the Savior, according to the words of the Lord in Matthew 25:46, „These shall go away into eternal punishment,”—are, in our judgment, revealed and fundamental truths. Our hope is the Personal Pre-millennial Return of the Lord Jesus in glory.
C. H. SPURGEON., J.A. BROWN, M.D. F.B. MONTI, A. G. BROWN., J.G. COX., J.S. MORRIS., J. DOUGLAS, M.A. E.J. FARLEY., H. SINCLAIR PATERSON, M.D., W. FULLER GOOCH. ,A. FERGUSSON., FRANK M. SMITH., G. D. HOOTER., FINLAY GIBSON., CHARLES SPURGEON., J. STEPHENS, M.A., CHARLES GRAHAM., J.L. STANLEY., FRANK H. WHITE., J.W. HARRALD., H. E. STONE., J. H. BARNARD. ,W. JACKSON., W. THOMAS. ,J. WESLEY BOUD. ,W. R. LANE. ,GEORGE TURNER., W. H. BROAD., H.O. MACKEY. ,W. WILLIAMS.
Because Mr. Spurgeon’s name was appended to this avowal of belief, it was supposed that he wrote it, and issued it to the world. Some, very wise people even discovered that this was the creed that Mr. Spurgeon wanted to force down the unwilling throat of the Baptist Union! Poor souls, it is really a pity to be obliged to dispel such blissful ignorance! Yet dispelled it will be, as soon as the simple but true story of the manifesto is told.
About eighteen months ago, the seven brethren, whose names appear at the head of the above list, banded themselves together as a „Fraternal”; and from time to time they have invited other like-minded brethren to join them. Membership is not confined to Baptists. Dr. Sinclair Paterson belongs to the brotherhood, as did the late Dr. Adolph Saphir, until he was called to the presence of the Lord he had so long and faithfully served. Several public meetings have been held, at which clear testimony upon the fundamental doctrines of the gospel has been given by various members. In addition, many private gatherings for prayer and consultation upon the Word and work of the Lord have taken place. At one of these, it was suggested (not, however, by Mr. Spurgeon) that the time had arrived when attention should be called, through the religious and secular press of the country, to certain truths which, in many quarters, are either ignored or rejected. The suggestion met with general approval, a committee was appointed to prepare the document; in due time it was submitted to the whole company, and when the exact wording had been settled, each member signed it in the form in which it has been published to the church and the world. It might just as well be called „Mr. Archibald Brown’s Confession of Faith,” or Mr. White’s, or Mr. Hooper’s, or Dr. Paterson’s. It is as much theirs as it is Mr. Spurgeon’s, and as much his as theirs; but no more appertaining to any one of the thirty than to all the rest.
It is certainly a „confession of faith” in this sense, that the brethren whose names are appended to it do believe what they there state, and they are not ashamed to confess their faith before any number of witnesses; but no one of them would think of regarding this short statement as a full declaration of all that he believes about the great verities of God. As for „Mr. Spurgeon’s Confession of Faith,” any one who wants to read that will find it „writ large” in the thirty-six volumes of The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit. If the reading of two thousand two hundred sermons is too great a task for the searcher after „Mr. Spurgeon’s Confession of Faith,” he will be able to get a condensation of it in the President’s Address delivered at the last College Conference We venture to repeat here almost the last words written by Mr. Spurgeon before his illness :—
„The Greatest Fight in the World is our testimony for the present moment. It is to be had in a neat form, and at a very small price—namely, sixpence. Nothing would please us more than to see it scattered by scores of thousands, and rousing a controversy on essential truths …. Those of our readers who abhor modern heresies, will be our true allies if they will help us in scattering this bombshell where it may do execution. In this address we speak without bitterness, but also without reserve. The present policy of the Down-grade men is to be quiet and cautious; but we shall no more copy their method than their doctrine. Our speech is outspoken. Friends will be pleased to know that the demand for the first edition far exceeds our expectations. Why not go in for fifty thousand?” A translation of „Mr. Spurgeon’s Confession of Faith,” that even men of the world can understand, will be found at the Stockwell Orphanage, where living faith shows itself in works of mercy for the widow and the fatherless (James 2:14-18).
The manifesto has not met with universal approval. The Christian World ridiculed „The ‘Faithful’ Few,” by the quotation marks in the heading of a short article, in which it said :—” It is a document which few will read without a feeling of perplexity and sadness. These thirty gentlemen appear to regard themselves as a little band of faithful adherents to the truth amidst a faithless church. The profoundest thought, the highest learning, the devoutest inquiry, are by implication branded as treason to the truth, if they have reached conclusions different from those propounded in this manifesto. Infallibility would seem to be the reward of the resolute refusal to allow the light of science and scholarship to fall upon the divine Word.
All must be wrong except the few who can pronounce this Shibboleth” Thank you, dear Christian World; but your censure is a choice compliment and commendation to every member of the Fraternal! The Echo called the manifesto „A Voice from Dark Ages.” A northern newspaper wrote as follows:— „No one who does not possess the power to an alarming extent of persuading himself anything, can possibly, if he have any real acquaintance with the controversy, hold the views as to the sense in which the Bible is divine revelation which prevailed ,in almost all the churches fifty years ago, It is not that theories have been formed; but facts have been brought to light which must modify old-fashioned opinions, and have already modified them to a considerable extent. It did not, however, require any new discoveries of criticism to disprove the dogma of verbal inspiration upon which Mr. Spurgeon and his friends insist as one of the prime essentials of Christianity. If it be an essential, then Christianity is no better than a myth. And these men, with all their boasted loyalty to religion, ought surely to see that in associating the Christian belief with unnecessary, unprovable, and directly disprovable dogma, they are doing the work of the atheist and unbeliever, who stand by smiling to see the process of destruction going on from within. If religion and verbal inspiration must stand or fall together, then it is the latter alternative which will happen—assuredly they will fall.” The italics are ours.
The Baptist, in publishing the manifesto, said :—”It is perhaps remarkable, not so much for the signatories, as for the names which are conspicuous by their absence.” Similar remarks have been made by other papers; but the writers of them appear not to have noticed the first words of the document :—” We, the undersigned, banded together in Fraternal Union.” It is just what it professes to be, an avowal of belief made by the members of a Fraternal. If it is asked, „Why is Mr. So-and-so’s name not there?” the answer is,” He is not a member of the Fraternal, and therefore his name has no right to be there.” Many clergymen and ministers have written, expressing their willingness to sign the manifesto; and various signs indicate that there is a very widespread desire for some kind of union in which lovers of the old faith might join with brethren like-minded, without being compromised by association with those who are not one with them in the faith. That, however, was not the object of those who signed this paper. Fraternals have been used often enough for the spread of Down-grade error; it therefore seemed right to make use of a Fraternal for the declaration of belief in Up-grade truth. If any Down-graders are not satisfied with what has been done, let them accept the challenge of the editor of Word and Work, himself one of the signatories of the document :—”
Such a manifesto as this is at least timely, and the men who sign it make no secret of their creed. Is it too much to expect that those who have changed their beliefs will be honest enough to express in language similarly plain the extent of the change, that all the world may see clearly where they stand? It is a fair challenge; will it elicit a fair response?”
ARTICLES FROM THE SWORD AND TROWEL CONCERNING THE DOWN GRADE CONTROVERSY
1887 SWORD AND TROWEL PREFACE
THE DOWN GRADE
THE DOWN GRADE
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
ANOTHER WORD CONCERNING
OUR REPLY TO SUNDRY
CRITICS AND ENQUIRERS
THE CASE PROVED
A FRAGMENT UPON THE
DOWN-GRADE CONTROVERSY (NOVEMBER, 1887)
TRUTH AND REVIVAL
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
1888 SWORD AND
THE BAPTIST UNION CENSURE
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
CURRENT RELIGIOUS PERILS
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
ATTEMPTS AT THE IMPOSSIBLE
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
THIS MUST BE A
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
SWORD AND TROWEL NOTES
CONFESSION OF FAITH”
(AUGUST, 1891 )
A SERMON FOR THE TIME PRESENT
PULPIT, NO. 1990,
OCTOBER 30, 1887)
THE „DOWN GRADE” CONTROVERSY
FROM MR. SPURGEON’S STANDPOINT
(FROM THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY,
„DOCTOR” OR „BROTHER”
Arthur W. Pink
What strange methods God sometimes employs in teaching His Children much needed lessons! This has recently been the writer’s experience. I have been approached by a „university” to accept from them a degree of „D. D.” Asking for time to be given so that I might prayerfully seek from God, through His written word, a knowledge of His will, fuller light came than was expected. I had very serious doubt’s as to the permissibility of one of God’s servants accepting a title of fleshly honor. I now perceive that it is wrong for me to receive it even complimentary. Various friends, as a mark of respect, have addressed me as „Dr. Pink.” I now ask them to please CEASE from doing so. Let it not be understood that I hereby condemn other men for what they allow. No, to their own Master they stand or fall. The principal passages which have helped me I now mention, praying that it may please God to also bless them to others.
FIRST, to the false comforters of Job, Elihu (God’s representative) said. „Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give FLATTERING TITLES unto men” (Job 32:31). SECOND, „Be NOT ye called Rabbi” or teacher” (Matthew 23:8), which is what „Doctor” signifies. THIRD, John 5:44 reproves those who „receive honor one of another” and bids us seek „the honor that cometh from God ONLY.” FOURTH, none of the Lord’s servants in the New Testament ever employed a title. „Paul, an apostle, „but never „the apostle Paul.” FIFTH, the Son of God „made Himself of no reputation” (Phil. 2:7); is it then fitting that His servants should now follow an opposite course? SIXTH, Christ bids us learn of Him who was „meek and lowly” (Matthew 11:29). SEVENTH, one of the marks of the apostasy as „having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage” (Jude 17). EIGHTH, we are bidden to go forth unto Christ outside the camp „bearing His reproach” (Heb. 13:13).
For these reasons it does not seem to me to be fitting that one who is here as a representative and witness for a „despised and rejected” Christ should be honored and flattered of men. Please address me as „BROTHER PINK”
Baptist Apostasy and the Ordinances
by Evangelist Gordon Silcox
I Corinthians 11: 2 ~ „Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.”
Many Baptist churches have abandoned the scriptural practice of the ordinances. There is a falling away from scriptural baptism and closed Lord’s Supper. The practice of the Lord’s supper is open in many Baptist churches and close in others. No longer do they preach and teach that only the redeemed and scripturally baptized saint who is right with his church can participate in the supper. In many of our Baptist churches members are now allowed to participate in a close Supper practice. The Lord’s supper is to be a time of remembering our Savior, a time of heart searching, and a time of revival among the members of the church. It is not to be a time of ecumenical associations. It is done in remembrance of our Lord. How can the unsaved remember Christ? How can a backsliding saint safely attend the supper? (I Cor. 11:23-34).
In the matter of Baptism; there is a falling away from the Biblical practice of believers baptism. Baptism in many Baptist churches has become a community affair. Many Baptist churches are accepting Baptism from other churches as long as it is by immersion. Even non-Baptist Baptism is accepted. Some of these churches would not accept the doctrine of Pentecostal, Protestant or cultic churches, yet they are accepting their baptism, which is just as alien as their doctrine. Many of these false churches preach another gospel. Baptist baptism is to fit our gospel ~ the death, the burial, and the resurrection. Baptist baptism is the proper candidate (one who is saved) immersed into a scriptural church, declaring the design of that baptism (the resurrection to a new life) and done under the authority of a scriptural church. Christ only gave baptism to his true churches, and the Protestant churches, the Catholic churches and the cults do not have authority to baptize (Matthew 28:16-20). There is a deepening apostasy in many Baptist churches concerning the practice of the ordinances. It is time to return to the faith of our fathers.
Baptist Apostacy and the Church
Taken out of a booklet by Evangelist Gordon Silcox
The church that Jesus built is alive and well. It has never failed and never will fail (Mat.16:18). We have an eternal promise from our Lord that the perpetuity of this divine church would continue. It did not start on the day of Pentecost. Jesus built the first one during his own personal ministry in Jerusalem. On the day of Pentecost an existing assembly of one hundred and twenty (120) members were empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:15 – „And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty).”
Acts 2:1-4 – „And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Yet, today we are seeing Baptist churches and pastors teaching the universal, invisible day of Pentecost theory of the church. Our early Baptist forefathers in the first century did not believe such apostate doctrine. The universal theory came from Rome and the invisible theory from the Protestants. Genuine Baptists do not believe either of those false theories. Baptists are not Protestants and never have been. Even the Protestants admit to our existence. Listen to what they said:
Alexander Campbell in the Campbell-McCalla Debate – „The church at Jerusalem was a Baptist church, and the church at Samaria was a Baptist church.”
Mosheim, Lutheran Historian – „The first century was a history of the Baptists.”
John Ridpath, Methodist Historian – „I should not readily admit that there was a Baptist church as far back as 100A.D., though without doubt there were Baptist then, as all Christians were then Baptists.”
We now are seeing many Baptist forsaking their Biblical heritage and teaching and preaching the
ecumenical doctrine of the universal, invisible church theory. It is time to resist the apostate trend of our day which will eventually lead to a one world visible church.