Top Sites

The Fundamental Top 500

      

What Do Baptists Believe?

What Do Baptists Believe?

You may have heard the phrase, Ignorance is bliss. However as Christians we are to… be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 1 Peter 3:15-17

If someone were to ask you, What do Baptists believe, would you be able to answer them?  In this little booklet, we will look at a brief outline on what is called the Baptist Distinctives. For practical and expedient purposes, we will use the acrostic, BAPTIST, in order to more readily define and remember each distinctive.

BBible, The only rule for faith and practice.

AAutonomy of each local church.

PPriesthood of the believer.

TTwo ordinances for the local church.

IIndividual soul liberty and responsibility.

SSeparation, ethical, ecclesiastical, and political.

TTwo officers of the local church.

Baptist distinctives are major fundamental beliefs and principles that have distinguished Baptists apart from any other religious body down through the centuries–hence the term: Baptist distinctives.  These distinctives are not a creed or confession of faith.

Baptists have no set written body of beliefs or principles, per se, that are accepted universally among all Baptists.  A true Baptist does not think of the name Baptist in any sectarian sense as having some merit in itself but rather equates it with New Testament truth, with a New Testament position.1 Therefore, for all practical purposes, the term Baptist distinctives can be used interchangeably with New Testament distinctives.

In every age since Jesus and the apostles, there have been companies of believers, churches, who have substantially held to the principles of the New Testament as now proclaimed by the Baptists.2
It should be noted that the name Baptist came about in the 14th century with the persecution of the Anabaptists or Re-baptizers.  This was a name given to them by proponents of the Roman Church.  Since the Roman Church was predominant throughout Europe, infant Baptism was a common practice.  Therefore when these New Testament believers began to immerse only those who had accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour, the religious world protested.  The Roman Church could not understand why these people were being baptized again.  Therefore they were given the name, Anabaptists.

Even though the name Baptist did not emerge until the 14th century, groups, which practiced the same basic New Testament principles, can be traced back to the time of Christ.

I. – THE ONLY RULE FOR FAITH AND PRACTICE

2 Timothy 3:16,17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
The Bible is a (the) Divine Revelation given of God to man, and is the complete and infallible guide and standard of authority in all matters of religion and morals; whatever it teaches is to be believed, and what ever it commands is to be obeyed; whatever it commands is to be accepted as both right and useful; whatever it condemns is to be avoided as both wrong and hurtful; but what it neither commands nor teaches is not to be imposed on the conscience as of religious obligation.3

This distinctive is placed first as the foundation because without it all the other distinctives would fall.  Baptists do not use any other book, teaching or creed as their authority.  We believe that God’s written Word is the only cornerstone by which those that are saved can firmly stand upon.  It is a spiritual book that can only be understood by those with spiritual eyes, and the only way to obtain these spiritual eyes is through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:9-16 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Baptists believe that every area of life needs to be subject to the written Word of God.  The Bible is the only source for authority and that which is not authorized in God’s Word is heresy.  Because the Bible has never been outgrown as the one standard, and cannot be creedified in brief; the Baptist holds the substitution of any authoritative creed as the first step in apostasy. 4

Mark 7:7-9 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Let us be as the Bereans of old. . . These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 17:11

Many people question which version is the best.  To answer that thoroughly, much paper and time would be needed.  So, let me leave you with my thoughts on the subject.  This author believes that the King James Version is the best translation.  Now there are a number of reasons for this belief.
1. It has proven the test of time.

2. It is widely use.

3. The Greek and Hebrew Manuscripts from which it was translated have proven to be the best.  (‘Oldest’ is not always ‘best’)

5. The vast number of similar extant manuscripts.

4. God has said He would preserve His Word, so we need to ask the question, Where is it preserved?

Unfortunately, we do not have the originals with us today, but the author believes the Textus Receptus is closely identical the original.  Now since we do not have the originals, this may sound like ‘circular reasoning’.  But keep in mind that God said he would preserve His Word, Therefore we must accept it by faith.  After a thorough studied of this subject with much interest, the author has concluded that the King James Version is the inerrant, infallible, preserved Word of God for English speaking people.

II. OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
This distinctive means that every local New Testament church has the privilege to be in total control of itself.  In the autonomous form of church government, the system of authority rests in an independent, indigenous, self-propagating, self-supporting, and self-governing local church.  This Baptist distinctive distinguishes itself from two other forms of church government, the Episcopalian, and Presbyterian.

The Episcopalian form of church government places it’s authority in a system of priests and bishops in an ascending scale.  For example, in the Roman Church, the ultimate authority rests in the supreme pontiff, the pope.
The Presbyterian form of church government places it’s authority in a representative group called preaching and ruling elders.
In this way delegated authority finds its final authority in the highest group.  For this process of delegated authority rises in an ascending order from the local church session to the presbytery to the state synod until it finally rests in the General Assembly which is natural. 5

The Autonomous form of church government is the only one of the three forms mentioned which is base upon Scriptural principles.  The first scriptural principle is: the individual™s ability to know the will of God.  This will be further explained in the Baptist distinctive, the priesthood of the believer.
The second scriptural principle that local church autonomy is based is; the responsibility of each local church, as a whole, to carry out God’s will based on the foundation that its members know God’s will.  In Matthew 18:15-17 we read where instruction is given to the church as a whole.

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Also in these verses:

Acts 13:1-3 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
Acts 15:22-28 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: 24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: 25  It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26  Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things¦
Just as each New Testament church is not subject to other churches or religious groups, they also are not to be in subject to the state.  In other words, the state should not impose any laws upon the church that would cause the church to violate Scriptural principles.  Matthew 22:17-21 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

III. OF THE BELIEVER

This distinctive is founded upon the Scriptural principles that God is no respecter of persons.  Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

Ephesians 6:9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
Colossians 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Unlike the Old Testament, where priestly functions were restricted to the tribe of Levi, the New Testament teaches that every believer is a priest before God.  Therefore, each believer has the blessed privilege of going directly to God at any time, under any circumstance and bring his petition through Jesus Christ to God.

Since the Bible teaches that each believer-priest is equal with one another, there is no need for divisional terms, titles or garb.  For example, the Scripture does not give a pastor (or father, to use a catholic term) the authority to forgive sin.  Each believer can act upon the promise in I John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We make this confession to God.

In 1 Peter 2:5,9 we read, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. . . 9  But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light¦

The term holy priesthood refers to New Testament believers.  We are holy in the sense that our sins have been forgiven, Hebrews 10:1-2 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

In the Old Testament only the high priest dared to enter the presence of God, and then only once a year!  As New Testament believers we have access to God’s presence at any time.

The term royal priesthood, also refers to New Testament believers.  We are royal in the sense that we are called to be personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Therefore, as a believer-priest, we have a tremendous responsibility placed upon us, and that is; each believer has the privilege to think as he will and that each man is totally responsible to God.  The Bible teaches that no person, institution, organization or convention has the authority to tell a person what to believe.

Along with this complete total freedom comes the accountability of such a privilege.  Remember, our responsibility is to God alone and no one else!  A believer may put himself under the authority of something else (such as a church) but he is still responsible to God for the freedom given him by Christ.

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
2 Corinthians 5:10-21 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. 12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. 13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. 14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

IV. : BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER

The Scriptures teach that the Lord prescribed immersion and the Lord’s Supper to be carried on as ordinances by the New Testament church.

As Bible believing Baptists find themselves in disagreement with other churches in relation to the topic of baptism, it would be helpful to summarize the New Testament position with the following four maxims:

1.  Only believers are to be baptized.  This excludes anyone who is an unbeliever (even babies, who neither believe nor disbelieve).  Cf. Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:14-16.  Acts 8:36-37 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

2.  Baptism is to be by immersion rather than by pouring or sprinkling.  There are two main arguments for immersion.  (1) The English word baptize has been transliteration of the Greek word baptizein.  In order to render a proper translation we have to use the word immerse.  (2) There are many passages that support the immersion translation.  Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:¦

Acts 8:37-38 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
3.  Baptism is not a step to salvation but it is a testimony that one has already received Christ Jesus as Savior.  Baptism is a beautiful picture of salvation through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans 6:4-5 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.  Once again, every believer who has been immersed has pictured the death (dying to self-righteousness and giving in to Christ’s righteousness), burial (going completely under the water), and the resurrection (coming up out of the water).

4.  Believer’s baptism by immersion is a requisite to church membership.  Throughout the book of Acts we find the order of salvation, baptism, and  church membership.  Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Cf. Matt. 16:25-33; Acts 8:37-28.

In practicing these four maxims, Baptists not only preserve purity in their local churches, but they honor the Lord Jesus Christ by respecting completely His Great Commission.  Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…

The second ordinance given to the church is the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper (notice that it™s not a breakfast, or lunch).  Just as baptism symbolizes spiritual birth in being raised to walk in newness of life, the Lord’s Supper symbolizes the nourishment and support of that new life by union with Christ in His death.  1 Corinthians 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

The Lord’s Supper is only to be taken by obedient Christians.  That means any Christian who has been immersed, is a member of a New Testament church, and who has searched his own heart to make sure all known sin is confessed.  1 Corinthians 11:28-31 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
It is clear to see that the Lord wants all that are saved to be obedient, If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love, John 15:10.  Baptists believe that in order to be obedient, a saved person must be baptized by immersion, a member of a New Testament church and observe the Lord’s Supper.
Baptists do not believe in the Roman Catholic view of transubstantiation which claims that the Catholic priests transform the bread and cup into the literal body and blood of Christ.

Baptists do not believe in the Lutherans view of consubstantiation which claims the real presence of the Lord in a special way.

The Baptist position concerning the Lord’s Supper is that it is a memorial table that pictures the body and blood of Jesus and serves only as a reminder of His death, burial, and resurrection for us.  1 Corinthians 11:25-26 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

These ordinances are not options that can be ignored.  If we want to be obedient to the Lord then we must be baptized by immersion, members of a New Testament church, and examining ourselves by partaking of the Lord’s Supper.

V. SOUL LIBERTY AND RESPONSIBILITY

This distinctive is based upon the belief that every man is accountable to the teachings of God’s Word in all religious matter; both in judgment and decision.  Baptists believe that each man has the privilege to think as he will and that he is totally responsible to God.

This distinctive teaches that no person, institution, organization or convention has the authority to tell a person what to believe.  But keep in mind that along with complete and total freedom comes the responsibility of such a privilege.  That responsibility is to God and God alone.  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men¦ Acts 5:29.

Someday as believers, we will answer to God for our actions, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad¦2 Corinthians 5:10.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man™s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man™s work of what sort it is.  14 If any man™s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man™s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
God has also commanded that we not be a stumbling block to others.  Our lifestyle does affect others.

1 Corinthians 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
1 Corinthians 10:29-33 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? 30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the [profit] of many, that they may be saved.
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
1 Peter 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

Yes, the believer has freedom in Christ, but what an awesome responsibility he has knowing that someday he will give an account to God as to how he used his soul liberty in regards to salvation, to the scriptures, to his daily life and in every area of life.

VI.
Under this distinctive we will look at three forms of separation:

1.  Ethical separation.

2.  Ecclesiastical separation.

3.  Political separation.

Ethical or Personal Separation
The first realm of separation to which Baptists adhere is ethical or personal.  Each individual believer is to be separated from the world, and unto Christ, 1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

2 Corinthians 6:14-17 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. . .
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
We must also separated ourselves from compromise:

3 John 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
1 Timothy 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
Even though these verses are self explanatory, unfortunately they are conveniently overlooked in fundamental Baptist circles today.  As New Testament believers this separation puts restrictions on marriage, close friends, clothes, hair standards, places of attendance, dance, music, theater, TV, alcoholic beverages, etc.

Ecclesiastical Separation

The second realm of separation to which Baptists adhere is ecclesiastical.  We are to separate from apostasy.  Just as our Lord has His churches, Satan, the imitator, has his false churches.

2 Corinthians 6:14-17 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
2 John 10,11 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
As New Testament believers, we can only have close fellowship with those of like faith and practice.  This does not mean that we are to be hateful exclusivists who look down on all who are disobedient to God’s Word.  On the contrary, we are to love and show mercy to all mankind.

2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Political Separation

The third realm of separation to which Baptists adhere is Political.  As Baptists we believe in a separation of church and state.  Baptists believe that Christ taught in Mark 12:17 that there should be separation between the church and the state. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.

Baptists believe that the state ought to stay out of the affairs of the church and vice versa, they not believe in a state church, state baptist, or state ordinances, when it comes to spiritual or religious matters.  Even though we believe in the separation of the church and state, this should not construed as the elimination of God from the state as the A.C.L.U. is proposing.  In order to avert the ruination of our nation, God must never leave the minds of the government.

As New Testament believers, we are to stay as far away from the world and its standards as possible.  Likewise we to stay as close to Christ and His Word as possible.  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5.

VII. OF THE LOCAL CHURCH

This Baptist distinctive can be scripturally supported after careful reading of the New Testament.  Philippians 1:1 says, Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons¦ In order to properly understand these two offices, let’s go to the Scripture.

1. THE PASTOR

The pastor’s qualifications are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Also in Titus 1:5-13 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;. . .

Throughout the New Testament there are various titles for the pastor.  They are:

1.  Pastor or shepherd of the Flock; And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Ephesians 4:11 (Greek word = poimein).

2.  Bishop or overseer of the working force; Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Philippians 1:1 (Greek word = episcopus).

3.  Elder or leader in a business session; And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. Acts 20:17 (Greek word = presbuteros).

4.  Preacher – a self explanatory term; (Greek word = kerrusso; to be a herald, always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed). Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. 1 Timothy 2:7

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee¦Titus 1:5
5.  Teacher – an instructor of the Word of God; And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Ephesians 4:11

6.  Angel and Star – a messenger of the Lord; The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. Revelation 1:20

These various New Testament titles reflect the diverse responsibilities of the Pastor.  The pastor is to LEAD, FEED, GUARD AND GUIDE the local church for one day he will give and account God for his ministry, Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Hebrews 13:17

2. DEACON

The qualifications for deacons are found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

And also in Act 6:1-4 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

The function of a deacon is that of a servant or one who ministers.  Deacons should not run the church nor should they dictate over the pastor.  The Bible nowhere suggests that the deacon is to be a watch-dog over the Pastor to keep him in line.  Therefore they are to serve the congregation under the leadership of the pastor.

Conclusion

Although many churches call themselves Baptist, if they do not believe these distinctives, they are not a New Testament Baptist church.  These distinctives separate Baptist from the rest of religious affiliations.  Baptist believe that these distinctives should be practiced by all believers, because these distinctives are contained in the Word of God which is the sole authority of faith and practice.

Back to top

Footnotes

1 Dr. Richard C. Weeks, Baptist Polity Class Notes, Maranatha Baptist Bible College.
2 John T. Christian, A History of the Baptist. (Texarkana: Bogard Press, 1922), p. 21
3 Edward T. Hiscox, The new directory for Baptist Churches. (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1970), p. 11
4 Thomas Armitage, A History of the Baptists.  (Watertown: Maranatha Baptist Press, reprint, 1976), p. 151.
5 William Kerr, Conservative Baptist Distinctives, (Portland, OR: Christianews Press, 1962), pp. 8-10

Other good books about Baptist history:
The Trail of Blood, by J.M. Carroll, printed by Bryan Station Baptist Church, 3175 Briar Hill Rd, Lexington, Kentucky 40516
Baptist Succession, A Hand-Book of Baptist History by D.B. Ray, reprinted by Church History Research & Archives, 220 Graystone Drive, Gallatin, Tennessee, 37066
A Concise History of Baptist by G.H. Orchard, Bogard Press, 4605 North State Line Ave., Texarkana, Texas 75503
I Will Build My Church: The Doctrine and History of Baptists by Thomas M. Strouse, Emmanuel Baptist Theological Press, 296 New Britain Ave, Newington, Connecticut 06111

To order What do Baptists Believe? booklets, write to:

Dr. D. Curtis Martin

New Testament Baptist Church

2119 3rd Ave. SE

Rochester, MN 55904

(507) 292-0745         (507) 292-0745

Email – Dr. Martin

Ask for the booklet by name, and include a check or money order.

Cost:   1-10 booklets – $3.00 apiece (+ $3.00 for shipping per order)
11 or more booklets – $2.25 apiece (+ $4.00 for shipping per order)

© Copyright 1993 by D. Curtis Martin
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This publication may be copied and used freely, but must not be sold in whole or in part. It is requested that if you make multiple copies of the material and distribute it that you contact the author as an encouragement to him.

2nd Printing & First Revision May 2001

3rd Printing June 2006

4th Printing May 2009

All the President’s Climategate Deniers

Michelle Malkin – Syndicated Columnist – 12/2/2009 11:15:00 AM

All the President’s Climategate Denier

‘ClimateGate’ Deception Continues to Unfold

As “ClimateGate” continues to unfold, prominent scientists are finding the boldness to speak out.

Pete Chagnon – OneNewsNow – 12/2/2009 5:00:00 AM

OneNewsNow.com

ClimateGate refers to the e-mails and computer codes that were leaked from climate research centers in the United Kingdom. The e-mails and codes detail how temperature data and climate models were manipulated to show alleged “manmade global warming.” (See earlier articles – Article 1 Article 2)

Former science advisor to Lady Margaret Thatcher, Lord Christopher Monckton, says he was attacked in some of the e-mails. He notes that another eminent professor of physics in the U.S., David Douglas, was also attacked. According to Monckton, he was contacted by Douglas and informed that conspirators had delayed publication of one of his papers that proved climate science was being overhyped.

Christopher MoncktonMonckton explains: “The conspirators managed to get the publication of the hard copy of that paper delayed by one year so that they could have time to cobble together a basically fraudulent paper authored by the man who had rewritten the scientists’ version of the 1995 U.N. report so that where the scientists had said, ‘We can’t see any human effect on the temperature,’ this man Ben Santer turned it around and wrote the opposite and said, ‘Well, in fact, there is a human effect from this’ — even though the scientists hadn’t said that.”

The former science advisor labels this clear evidence that there is interference at high levels in the editorship of the “learned journals” in which scientific research is published. Criminal charges are being pursued in this matter. Monckton adds that he is also in communication with members of both houses of Congress concerning the fraudulent activities uncovered in ClimateGate.

Google gags the skeptic
On a related note, Monckton also is accusing Google of playing dirty tricks with Internet searches. A popular Internet video featuring the noted climate skeptic was allegedly “buried” beneath junk searches on the popular Internet search engine Google.

Monckton says Google knowingly hid the video that featured him discussing the dangers of signing a climate treaty in Copenhagen later this month.

Google image“They made no sense at all,” says Monckton. “[The junk search results] were just put there — and put there by somebody who must have paid Google something like a million dollars to allow these pages of rubbish to appear above the page on which my video could be found.”

He says it was not until Google was confronted about the biased techno-treatment that things changed.

“[T]hat persisted for a week until we told Google if you don’t take that down and rearrange it we will go public and expose what you have done and you will eventually face statutory controls so that you cannot manipulate information in this way so as to prevent people from genuinely finding the information they want on your search engine.”

Monckton notes that Google backed down rather quickly. He adds that Al Gore serves as an advisor on Google’s board.

Outspoken MP Slams Canada’s “Abortion Regime”

Friday November 27, 2009


Outspoken MP Slams Canada’s “Abortion Regime”

By John Jalsevac

OTTAWA, November 27, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite the fact that Canada has one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world and that recent polls show that most Canadians would prefer to have some restrictions on abortion, the political pressure to keep the status quo on the issue is so firm that it is rare for a Canadian politician to even mention the issue, let alone critically.

But one Conservative MP has bucked the trend of silence and recently issued a salvo against Canada’s “abortion regime” that he argued is directly and seriously harmful to mothers, as well as their unborn children.

“As a compassionate, caring, progressive society, we should provide the kind of support and options for the expectant mother, so that she doesn’t feel her only choice is to choose death for her offspring,” said Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott in a hard-hitting press release issued last week. “To put women in that kind of position is not the hallmark of a caring, compassionate, progressive society. That’s providing ‘no choice.'”

Vellacott was responding to remarks by Evelyn Reisner, executive director of Saskatoon Planned Parenthood, who told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix earlier in November that the Saskatoon cut-off date for abortion of the 12th week of pregnancy, “increases the risks to [pregnant women’s] health, causing a ‘higher rate of infections, complications and deaths’.”

The Saskatoon StarPhoenix also reported that, in the view of some people, there aren’t enough Saskatoon doctors performing abortions.

But Vellacott argued that the decrease in the number of doctors performing abortions in the city can be traced to advances in technology that have revealed what abortion does to the unborn child, and to the growing body of evidence that abortion hurts women.

“Saskatoon’s doctors should be commended for the leadership they are showing by reducing the availability of abortion in our city and for supporting real alternatives for women in need,” said Vellacott.

Interestingly, Vellacott’s views on abortion may not be as “extreme” as many in the political establishment would make them out to be – at least according to a recent poll. According to the Environics poll, released this week, 56% of Canadians would like there to be protections for the unborn at some point before birth. Currently Canada has no restrictions on abortion, technically allowing an unborn child to be killed up to the point of birth.

In addition, 68% of Canadians polled said that abortions should be either privately funded (18%) or only tax-funded in cases of medical emergency “such as a threat to the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest.”

The Saskatchewan MP went on in his statement to highlight the lengthy list of problems that abortion can lead to for mothers, including “a greater risk of breast cancer, cervical lacerations and injury, uterine perforations, hemorrhage, and serious infection. Long-term physical consequences of abortion include sterility or subsequent ectopic pregnancies and premature births. Premature births are associated with higher rates of cerebral palsy, as well as respiratory, brain, and bowel abnormalities.”

The outspoken MP also claimed that the current “abortion regime” is conducive to abuse. “Aborted women tell stories of being badgered, harassed and coerced into getting their abortion by boyfriends, partners, parents, employers, or other unsupportive circumstances,” he said. “Abortion has also been used to cover up the sexual abuse of girls who were minors. Pro-life feminists have also come to see abortion as part of a male agenda to have women more sexually available. With widespread abortion access, the male partner also has come to think that he can blame the woman if she chooses not to have an abortion after an unplanned pregnancy.”

Vellacott also accused Reisner of “being disingenuous – at best – when she claims that the limited access to abortion in Saskatoon will lead to a ‘higher rate of infections, complications and deaths.'” He pointed out that the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson, once America’s most prominent abortionist, after becoming pro-life, admitted that he and others fabricated their huge figures of 5,000-10,000 potentially deadly “back alley” abortions per year and kept repeating these fabricated numbers until the media unquestioningly reported them.

Vellacott said, “The intelligent women of today are owed a full and complete disclosure of information on the life changing abortion effects and long-term harms. Women are done a great disservice and are not treated with equality when there is not a fully informed consent.”

“When women look beyond those pushing abortion, they discover that there are more services available today to women facing crisis pregnancies, so that they don’t have to feel trapped into killing their unborn child. We need to provide the compassionate, caring support for women and their pre-born children at such a vulnerable time, so that someday, abortion is a very rare thing in our country,” added Vellacott.

Vellacott concluded, “We should be doing so much more for women in this regard so they don’t feel backed into a corner and coerced. As a caring, compassionate, progressive society, we should provide the kind of supports so that they have real choice, so they can do the instinctive thing – so they can choose life.”

To contact MP Maurice Vellacott to express your support:

Maurice Vellacott, MP
Unit 3-844 51st Street East
Saskatoon, SK  S7K 5C7

Tel. 306-975-4725, Toll Free 888-844-8886
Fax 306-975-4728
Email: vellam1@parl.gc.ca

Global-warming data sets ‘simply made up’

Criminal charges are being pursued in what is being dubbed as “ClimateGate.”

Pete Chagnon – OneNewsNow – 11/30/2009 10:50:00 AM

It all started when an alleged whistleblower from the UK’s Hadley Centre leaked e-mails detailing how temperature data was being forged to prove alleged “manmade global warming.” Lord Christopher Monckton, a noted “climate skeptic,” says the actions were criminal and should be prosecuted.

“The Hadley-CRU temperature data set is simply a joke. It has no scientific data whatsoever,” he asserts. “It’s simply made up; it’s just nonsense.

Christopher MoncktonMonckton notes that the information was available under the UK’s Freedom of Information Act, and accuses the Hadley Centre of conspiring with the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) to destroy the data and e-mails before the public got a hold of it.

“They conspired together and with other people to destroy Freedom of Information Act data which they knew had been requested and they knew had been validly requested,” states Monckton.

“That is a serious criminal offense [which] carries a very large fine,” he continues. “There are scales of one to five for fines, and this one is a five which I think at the moment is at least £10,000 — and if you don’t pay it you go to prison.”

Monckton argues that the criminal offenses go beyond the Freedom of Information Act, that they are crimes against science itself. He notes that temperature data sets from the Hadley Centre and CRU are used to calibrate NASA satellites that are in turn used to track global temperatures.

Gashmu Saith It!

The following is excerpted from the booklet The Technique Catastrophe by Evangelist Bob Creel (P.O. Box 4548, Sevierville, TN 37864, 865-712-4537 or 865-908-4244). It is subtitled An explanation of the multitudes of false professions in the Independent Baptist movement.
___________________________________

Remember back in Nehemiah chapter six, when Sanballat and Tobiah, the enemies of the Jews, tried to get Nehemiah to meet with them so that they could stop the building of the walls in Jerusalem? When he refused, they then threatened to write to the king and tell him that Nehemiah was planning to make himself king and rebel against Artaxerxes. As an extra measure to make this lie believable, they stated that they were going to tell king Artaxerxes that Gashmu saith it was so. You’ll find this in Nehemiah 6:6.

Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words.

Whoever this Gashmu character was, his name must have been much set by with the king. They felt as though their lie would be stronger and have a better chance of being believed, if they were to attach Gashmu’s name to it.

It seems as though this has become the pattern for the Independent Baptist movement! As long as you can attach Brother So-N-So’s name to an unscriptural practice, it will place more credence to a lie! My friend, all the Gashmu’s in the world cannot change God’s prescribed method of working with an individual’s soul, nor does it turn a lie into the truth! Anyone who denies the need for conviction and repentance in a soul winning experience is a liar! Anyone who instructs you to use a vehicle other than the one that has been assigned to you [in God’s Word], is guilty of misrepresenting God’s plan! Anyone who indicates that your reward is based upon how many people you lead to Christ has misled you! The Gashmu’s of this world march on, but that doesn’t change a lie into the truth!

Perhaps our real need is to stop reading the material of the Gashmu’s and spend a little more time in God’s Word! Most of our soul-winning practices line up with the Gashmu’s and not with the Bible, which helps me to understand why we are claiming so many conversions and so few additions!

If you add up the number of professions that some of our pastor friends have each year, and multiply it by the number of years they have been in that church, it would in some cases exceed the number of people that live in their area! Some of the missionary letters that I have read lately brings me to the conclusion that we will be able to call all of the missionaries home within the next ten years, because the entire population of that country will then be saved.

No, beloved, improper practices are lining people up at the gates of hell today, thinking they are saved, because some soul winner told them they were. You have a choice. Listen to what Gashmu saith–or what the Bible saith!

Scientists Who Believe the Bible

In April 2009, Terry Mortenson of the Creation Museum in America, said: There are literally thousands of scientists around the world that believe the Bible. There is an organization in the United States with 700 scientists who have a Masters or Ph.D. in the hard sciences.

[Enlarged September 5, 2009 (first published August 8, 2009) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -]

High Schools, colleges, and universities typically teach only one theory of origins, that being evolution, and the students are not presented with a creationist viewpoint. In fact, they are often given the idea that no true scientist today is a creationist. When the National Academy of Sciences in America published an educational tool in 1998 entitled Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science, they posed this question, Don’t many scientists reject evolution? The answer was, No; the scientific consensus around evolution is overwhelming.

Richard Dawkins, a brash atheist and anti-creationist, says in his recent book The Greatest Show in Earth, Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. … Evolution is a fact, and [my] book will demonstrate it. No reputable scientist disputes it, and no unbiased reader will close the book doubting it.

According to Dawkins, if you reject evolution, you are unintelligent and your sanity should be questioned, and he proclaims that no reputable scientist disputes it.

In fact, modern science was invented by men who believed in divine creation. In his book Refuting Evolution, Jonathan Sarfati, who has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and is a national chess champion, says:

It is fallacious to claim, as many evolutionists do, that believing in miracles means that laboratory science would be impossible. In fact, most branches of modern science were founded by believers in the Bible’s account of creation.

Consider some samples:

Physics — Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, Kelvin, Joule
Chemistry – Boyle, Dalton, Ramsay
Biology – Ray, Linnaeus, Mendel, Pasteur, Virchow, Agassiz
Geology – Steno, Woodward, Brewster, Buckland, Cuvier
Astronomy – Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Herschel, Maunder
Mathematics – Pascal, Leibniz, Euler

In 1979, Science Digest reported that scientists who utterly reject Evolution may be one of our fastest-growing controversial minorities, and stated that, Many of the scientists supporting this position hold impressive credentials in science (Larry Hatfield, Educators Against Darwin, Science Digest Special, Winter 1979, pp. 94-96).

Dr. Sarfati continues:

Even today, many scientists reject evolution. The Creation Ministries International staff scientists have published many scientific papers in their own fields. Dr. Russell Humphreys, a nuclear physicist working with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has had over 20 articles published in physics journals, while Dr. John Baumgardner’s catastrophic plate tectonics theory was reported in Nature magazine. Dr. Edward Boudreaux of the University of New Orleans has published 26 articles and four books in physical chemistry. Dr. Maciej Giertych, head of the Department of Genetics at the Institute of Dendrology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, has published 90 papers in scientific journals. Dr. Raymond Jones was described as one of Australia’s top scientists for his discoveries about the legume Leucaena and bacterial symbiosis with grazing animals, worth millions of dollars per year to Australia. Dr. Brian Stone has won a record number of awa rds for excellence in engineering teaching at Australian universities (Jonathan Sarfati, Refuting Evolution, 2007, pp. 26-28).

I guess Dawkins forgot about those scientists.

The man behind the Apollo moon mission, rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, believed that God created the world.

Duane Gish has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and worked for many years in pharmaceutical research at Cornell University, the University of California, and the Upjohn Company. As a biochemist, he has synthesized peptides, compounds intermediate between amino acids and proteins. He has been co-author of a number of outstanding publications in peptide chemistry. Gish lists the following scientists who reject evolution and believe in creationism. Let’s see if any of them might be considered reputable.

While it is true that creationists among scientists definitely constitute a minority, there are many creation scientists, and their number is growing. Among these may be numbered such well-established scientists as the late Dr. W. R. Thompson, world-famous biologist and former Director of the Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control of Canada; Dr. Melvin A. Cook, winner of the 1968 E. G. Murphee Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry from the American Chemical Society and also winner of the Nobel Nitro Award, now president of the Ireco Chemical Company, Salt Lake City; Dr. Henry M. Morris, for thirteen years Professor of Hydraulic Engineering and Head of the Civil Engineering Department of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University, one of the largest in the U.S. Dr. Walter Lammerts, geneticist and famous plant breeder, the late Dr. Frank Marsh, Professor of Biology at Andrews University until his retirement; the late Dr. J.J. Duyvene De Wit, Professor of Zoology at the University of the Orange Free State, South Africa, at the time of his death; Dr. Thomas G. Barnes, Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Texas at El Paso; Dr. Dmitri Kouznetsov, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., winner of the Komosmol Lenin Prize in 1983 as one of the two most promising young scientists in the Soviet Union, and winner of the Council of Ministries Prize of the USSR in 1986 for his research in biochemistry (Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No, 1995, pp. 13, 14).

A.E. Wilder-Smith (1915-1995), who defended creationism against evolution in his many books, had three Ph.D.s, one in physical organic chemistry from Reading University, England, one in pharmacology from the University of Geneva, and one in pharmacological sciences from ETH, a senior university in Zurich, Switzerland. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a NATO three-star general, Dr. Wilder-Smith was an expert on chemotherapy, pharmacology, organic chemistry, and biochemistry.

Raymond Damadian, M.D., biophysicist, is the recipient of the Lemelson-MIT Achievement Award as the man who invented the MRI scanner. In 1988, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology, America’s highest award for applied science, and a year later, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame, an honor he shares with Thomas Edison, Samuel Morse, and the Wright Brothers. The first MRI scanner that Dr. Damadian and his colleagues built in 1977 resides at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Damadian is a Bible-believing Christian and attends a Baptist church in Long Island, New York. Dr. Damadian has stated that the highest purpose a man can find for his life is to serve the will of God.

Richard Lumsden (1938-97), Ph.D., converted from Darwinian atheist to Bible-believing Christian at the apex of his professional career when, challenged by one of his students, he decided to check out the evidence for himself. A professor of parisitology and cell biology, he was dean of the graduate school at Tulane University. He trained 30 Ph.D.s., published hundreds of scholarly papers, and was the winner of the highest award for parasitology.

Lee Spetner, author of Not By Chance: Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution, has a Ph.D. in physics from MIT. He was a researcher with John Hopkins University from 1951-1970.

James Allan has a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Edinburgh and was a senior lecturer in genetics at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. He is an international consultant in dairy cattle breeding. The testimony of his Christian faith was published in the book In Six Days: Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation.

Jerry Bergman, co-author of the book Persuaded by the Evidence, has five masters degrees and two Ph.D.s, one in human biology and another in measurement and evaluation. He had a 4.0 grade point average for both Ph.D.s and close to a 4.0 for all five of his masters degrees.

The Creation Research Society membership consists of more than 600 men and women who hold advanced degrees and are committed to biblical creationism.

Frank Marsh has a Ph.D. in biology and is emeritus Professor of Biology at Andrews University. He is the author of Variation and Fixity in Nature: The Meaning of Diversity and Discontinuity in the World of Living Things, and Their Bearing on Creation and Evolution.

Joseph Mastropaolo, who has a Ph.D. in kinesiology from the University of Iowa, has taught biomechanics and physiology at the University of Chicago and California State University. He holds the patent for crew conditioning for extended manned space missions. He is adjunct faculty at the Institute for Creation Research.

The speaking staff of Answers in Genesis includes 10 men and women who have earned doctorates. David DeWitt has a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Donald DeYoung has a Ph.D. in physics. Jason Lisle has a Ph.D. in astrophysics. David Menton has a Ph.D. in cell biology from Brown University. Tommy Mitchell has an M.D. from Vanderbilt University. Terry Mortenson has a Ph.D. in the history of geology. Gary Parker has a doctorate in education in biology/geology. Georgia Purdom has a Ph.D. in molecular genetics. Andrew Snelling has a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Sydney.

In April 2009, Terry Mortenson of the Creation Museum in America, said: There are literally thousands of scientists around the world that believe the Bible. There is an organization in the United States with 700 scientists who have a Masters or Ph.D. in the hard sciences. The largest creation organization is not in the United States. It is in Korea, with over 2,500 Bible-believing scientists, over 250, the last I heard, with Ph.Ds.

Of course, even if NO scientist disputed evolution, does not mean it is correct. The Bible says, let God be true, but every man a liar (Romans 3:4), and Jesus said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes (Matthew 11:25).

How to Kill A Church

The following is by the late Davis Huckabee:

New Testament churches do not naturally die; they are so constituted that they cannot die a natural death. They may, however, be killed, but even in this, they can hardly be killed by outsiders except by the annihilation of the entire membership. Churches are most often killed from the inside; their own members kill them. A church is not just an organization; it is also an organism — a living thing, and as such, it has the potential of either growing and thriving, or of languishing and dying. The Lord promised that His church, considered as an institution, would not die, (Matthew 16:18), but this only means that there will be a continuity of churches like the Jerusalem church until His return; it does not guarantee the continued existence of any individual church.

How then may a church be killed?

I. BY STAYING AWAY FROM IT

The Scriptures liken church members to the members of a physical body, (I Cor.12:12ff), and just as certain organs of the human body cannot be removed without death coming to the body, so it is with the church, the body of Christ. When the members of the church start staying away from it, this soon leads to its death.

This is generally a gradual thing, starting first with the neglect of the business meetings because “it doesn’t matter whether I am there or not. The others are going to run things to please themselves.”

The night services are really the acid test of a church member’s love for the Lord, for many people come to church for the morning services simply because there is nothing else to do except stay home. Of course, many professed Christians who will even forsake the House of God Sunday morning in order to sleep in; these are the very most unfaithful kind. But of those who attend the Sunday morning services regularly, many could not be gotten out for evening services for anything. But the same excuses that are thought valid for staying away from church services, will not do when one is invited to a party, or when money is to be made by being in a certain place, etc. But the Lord will one day settle up the accounts. “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits” Prov. 16:2.

Some church members permanently forsake the church, never more to return; but if we consider the connections between the two verses in Heb. 10:25-26, we find that this is an indication that the individual was only a false Christian. The same is true in I John 2:19: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”

2. BY STARVING IT

Starving the Church through Lack of Converts

A church lives and grows only by conversions and the additions of those converts to its number, and therefore if it is not nourished by conversions as a result of preaching and praying, it will soon die off from lack of additions. Souls being saved are a blood transfusion to any church. “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” Acts 2:47. God does the adding to the church, yet He does it through the prayers and the preaching and the witnessing of His people.

Starving the Church through Lack of Spirituality

A church may be killed by starving it of spirituality; we must remember that the degenerate Church of Rome was once a New Testament church until it lost its spirituality. Heresy in doctrine is first preceded by heresy in practice; i.e., by a carnal life. How may this be prevented? By its members living a sanctified (dedicated) life from day to day (not week by week, nor month by month). But dedication requires self-denial, and all too many professed Christians are unwilling to do this.

Starving the Church through Lack of Prayers and Finances

Then it is possible to starve a church to death by not supporting it with one’s prayers and finances. A church is a business — the grandest, most worthwhile business in the world, and therefore it must have money to operate. Because it is a heavenly business, it needs, in addition to money, the prayers of the Lord’s people. Some professed believers are much more diligent in running down the church, the pastor, and those who are faithfully working in the church, than they are in praying for these and helping them. The same thing is true of Christians as it is of mules: THEY CAN’T PULL WHILE THEY ARE KICKING, AND THEY CAN’T KICK WHILE THEY ARE PULLING.

As to the failure of God’s people to support the church financially, Malachi 3:8-10 is still in the Bible, and it calls the withholder of the tithes and offerings just what he is — a thief. Nor will it do to say “But that is in the Old Testament.” The division of the Bible into the Old and the New Testament is strictly a man-made division; the Scriptures themselves know nothing of this. But in any case, I Cor. 9:1-14 obligates believers to support the church in precisely the same way that the Tabernacle was supported — by tithes and offerings. See especially I Corinthians 9:14.

3. BY STRIFE IN IT

Strife has probably killed almost as many churches as any other one thing. When two people are in disagreement, and both are utterly selfish, it will cause a strife which will grow until it consumes the whole church, unless the church takes steps to end the strife. Strife is a mark of spiritual immaturity and carnality: “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ … For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” I Cor. 3:1,3.

Strife generally has its roots in pride, for where there is strife, both parties proudly assume that they are right, and will not admit even the possibility of being wrong. At the same time, neither will try to see the other’s point of view, nor will either admit that the other could be right in the least degree. It is a fortunate church which does not have such an undercurrent of strife.

Strife is also promoted by self-righteousness in that one looks down upon others, while exalting self in his own mind. He takes the attitude of the Pharisee in Luke 18:9. Pride stands in the way of humility, which is always the first step toward repentance.

One of the most tragic forms of church strife is when a member, or group of members, get their feelings hurt by the preaching (which is very common when the preacher is faithful to preach against sin, and to declare the members’ duties). Often the dissident members will mount a campaign to run the preacher off, and the most common excuse used is that he is a “dictator.” Now we have no sympathy with a genuine dictator in the pulpit, but ere a man of God is stigmatized as a dictator, men had best consider what the preacher is commissioned and commanded to do: he is to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” II Timothy 4:2. “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear” I Timothy 5:20. “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee” Titus 2:15. “This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that the y may be sound in the faith” Titus 1:13.

On the basis of these, and the many other similar texts, the preacher has a duty not only to declare the truth, but also to rebuke those members who are living wayward lives, and no one has a right to call him a dictator for only doing his duty. This is not to say that he may use the pulpit to chide members for personal differences of opinion, nor that he should jump upon and spur every one for every little misstep. The wise pastor will quickly learn to use Christian psychology even in the most serious breaches of Christian ethics, and that “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger,” Proverbs 15:1. A belligerent or overbearing preacher will produce only heartache for himself and discouragement for the church.

Strife between the members of a church and the pastor often destroys a church for the simple reason that by rebellion against the pastor, the members are rebelling against the Lord, for though the church may vote to call a man as pastor, yet if they are led of the Lord in doing so, the pastor is made the superintendent or overseer (Greek “bishop”) over the flock, Acts 20:28. Not only so, but the preacher, when he stands to declare the gospel, is an ambassador for Christ, beseeching men in the stead of Christ to be reconciled to God, II Corinthians 5:18-20. And yet more so, when he preaches Christian responsibility to believers, they are obligated to obey and submit themselves, for the pastor is accountable to God for them, and thus it is a solemn thing to disobey when the pastor is only endeavoring to lead one on to serve the Lord better and more faithfully. “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they th at must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you,” Hebrews 13:17.

Some churches degrade the pastoral office to that of a mere figurehead, and treat the pastor with less respect than any layman in the church; sometimes they let their independency and autonomy go to their heads, and they think they can run the preacher off any time they don’t like what he says. But it is noteworthy that the Scriptures give not a single example of the dismissal of a pastor from a church, nor of a church even challenging the authority of the pastoral office.

It is to be granted that the church has authority over its members, including the pastor, but it is also true that the pastor is a man specially called of God to his office, and he stands in a special relationship to God, and while on rare occasions it may be necessary to dismiss and exclude a preacher because of immorality or heresy, yet a church should be very slow to take any action against one of the Lord’s prophets without good reason. “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses” I Timothy 5:19. “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm” Psalms 105:15.

4. BY STUBBORNNESS

In the Scriptures, stubbornness is a sin that is compared to witchcraft and idolatry, I Samuel 15:22, and yet some people seem to delight in stubbornly resisting all spiritual progress and activity in the church. It is no virtue to be so set in one’s ways that one hinders a church from changing for the better. No church was ever so perfect when it started but that it has room to change for the better. Indeed, sanctification is itself a progressive changing for the better of individuals, and if the members daily change for the better, so should the church. The sin of the Sardis Church was that it stubbornly refused to repent of sin, Revelation 3:3, and consequently it slowly died on the vine, all the while refusing to admit its cold and indifferent state. There is such a thing as dead orthodoxy — a doctrinal soundness which is devoid of any real love to Christ.

Some say, “Well, it is my life, and it is my business whether I repent or not,” but this is not true, for every person is an example to someone else, and his bad example will lead others astray, perhaps concerning something much worse. Besides, the corruption of a church member is a corruption of that much of the church, and “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” I Corinthians 5:6. No one can afford to indulge any sin, because sin in church members is what kills churches.

There are many ways to kill a church, but the important thing to notice is the solemn consequences of tearing down a church of the Living God. “If any man defile (the Greek word is the same as that translated “destroy”) the temple of God (a church, as the preceding verse shows), him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple are ye” I Corinthians 3:17. It matters not what excuses may be given, if an individual or group of individuals so conduct themselves as to cause the death of a church, they had better prepare to shortly face the judgment of God in the loss of their physical lives.

A church is of more importance than the collective rights of all the members, for a church exists, not just for its own present members, but is a witness to many who may never join it, but who may be led to the Lord through its ministry. Not only so, but the rights of future members must also be considered when taking any action that might be detrimental to the church. Many carnal church members, in their zeal to get their own way, justify their own sins, sooth their own pride and hurt feelings, do not care that they may quench the only faithful lighthouse of the truth in their community. They care not that future generations may not have opportunity to hear the gospel and to be saved because a church was destroyed by the carnality of its members.

The attitude of some is “I’m saved, so let the rest of the world go to hell for all I care.” Such an attitude hardly evidences genuine salvation. If it be true that “Whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” I John 3:17, how much more so is this true of those who have no concern for the welfare of the souls of others? God pity the man who destroys a church: if he is saved at all, he puts himself under the judgment of physical death for putting his own selfish wants and will above the welfare of a church of the living God.

5. BY SELFISHNESS

All of the foregoing points may be summed up in this one, but we venture to make a few more comments which fall specifically under this heading. We live in the most affluent age that this world has ever known. Add to this the fact that this generation has greater means to get the gospel to every race, nation and tribe of people than any previous generation. Radio, TV and the press make evangelism possible as never before. But what happens? Instead of using these means for the glory of God, men become so selfishly involved in them that all of these become definite detriments to the truth.

It has been found that people [in some countries] spend hundreds of times more on pets than on all religious enterprises combined, and Newscaster Paul Harvey reports that for every dollar that is spent on churches, $12,000 is spent on crime. It should be obvious from this that we are working at the wrong end of the problem.

Giving to missions is the thermometer which shows the spiritual atmosphere of a church. It is generally the gauge of godliness in the church. Call it home missions or whatever one pleases, but the selfish use of the Lord’s money for the gratification of the members of a church will kill that church as quickly as almost any one thing. May God give us more sound and serviceable churches by stirring up church members to be more dedicated and obedient.

Are you killing your church by your sinfulness by your selfishness, by your neglect? Then repent before both the church and yourself are destroyed.

A Missionary Spirit That Needs to be Revived

The following article is reprinted from The Fundamentalist Digest, Nov.-Dec. 1997 (Don Jasmin, editor)–

In reading a copy of the Baptist Magazine (London, 1820), the writer read correspondence indicating that around the years 1819-1820 there was a group of 100 seminary students at the Andover Seminary in Andover, Massachusetts, who met regularly for the sole purpose of collecting material “concerning missions” to “enable each member to determine whether it is his duty to become a missionary.”

These students prepared dissertations on missions regarding various foreign countries from the materials collected and then read them to the entire group. The Andover Seminary library was also seeking periodicals and books dealing with missions to add to its collection so that the above-mentioned students would have larger resources from which to draw, as they pondered God’s will for their lives.

Could a group of 100 students be found in any fundamental Baptist seminary in the USA today who have banded themselves together solely for seeking God’s will concerning missionary service? Christian writers termed that era “the Age of Missions.” That pioneer missionary spirit needs to be revived in our fundamental Baptist circles today. [No Baptist seminary existed at that time; Andover was an orthodox Congregational seminary where the Baptists in America sent most of their students until the founding of the Newton Theological Institute later in 1 the 1820’s-editor]

Have You Knelt At Gethsemane?

Have You Knelt At Gethsemane?

Matthew 26:36-46 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me. And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt. And He cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done. And He came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And He left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then cometh He to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray Me.

Read the rest of this entry »