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.