Those Things Rejected
At the top of the list I would reckon would be the issue of "Alien Baptism". No, this doesn't mean that aliens from another planet come down in their flying saucer and start dunking folks in water! It means simply this; any baptism which is not scripturally sanctioned, ie. infant (pedo) baptism and sprinkling. These are rejected. Any person who has received the afore mentioned baptisms and are coming to a Baptist congregation who, through confession of faith, desire to become a member of that congregation must then be scripturally baptized by immersion by the Baptist minister.
Scriptural Baptism vs. Pedo Baptism & Sprinkling
It's interesting to note that the name we received before the reformation as a people was Anabaptist. The term literally means "rebaptizers". The name Anabaptist stuck, but in all actuality is just another of the scornful names given to us by the Roman Catholic church. It is a misnomer for the very fact that what the romish church called baptism was no more than getting babies wet and was not an actual scriptural baptism.
In 416 A.D. infant (pedo) baptism was made mandatory by law throughout the Roman Empire. This very act was responsible for filling churches with unconverted (lost) souls and was one of the major factors to lead us into what is known as the dark ages which lasted some 1200 years until the Reformation. But from the beginning of the New Testament Church age to present times, God always had a remnant of His church who remained faithful to His teachings. The ones who never consented to such a law and practice were know as Paulicians, Waldenses, Montanists, Novatians, Arnoldists, Henricians, Petrobrusians, Paterines, Albigenses, Studist, to name a few. But all bore their given name of Anabaptist. They did have one name they reserved for themselves however. One that is rarely mentioned today. It was Antipedobaptists, meaning those against infant baptism.
Our method of baptism was also one of our key distinctions and a matter of controversy. Historians argue quite often about when the practice of sprinkling began. Some say it began in 753 A.D. with a decision by pope Stephen II. Others say it started much earlier with Novation around 250 A.D. Whether it be then or some other time it is not and has never been the scriptural method for baptizing. The very word baptizo which we get the term baptize means to immerse or place down into, not sprinkle.
When reading the works of writers who are of unquestionable authority, it's clear that the early Baptists continued to baptize in pools, rivers, and baths, documented up to the third century A.D. A quote from Justin Martyr (100 to 165 A.D.) says; "they went with the catechumens to a place where there was water". Tertullian (160 to 225 A.D.) noted that "the candidates for baptism made a profession of faith twice, once in the church, and then again when they came to the water, and it was quite indifferent whether it were the sea, or a pool, a lake, or a river, or a bath." Johann Lorenz von Mosheim, (1694 to 1755 A.D.) said: "The sacrament of baptism was administered in the first century, without the public assemblies, in places appointed and prepared for that purpose, and was performed by immersion of the whole body in the baptismal fount." [Ecclesiastical History, Philadelphia edition, vol. 1. p. 126.]
Also the idea of Baptismal Regeneration should be totally rejected. Baptismal Regeneration is the belief that baptism is an act of salvation. In all actuality it is an outward showing to the world that we are buried and then risen with Christ.
There is a long list of things which entail Roman Symbolism. Two definitions can be derived merely from the title of this sub section. (a.) to agree with or take on the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. (b.) to use those objects [icons] which would identify us with the Roman Catholic Church.
Sir Isaac Newton said: "The modern Baptists formerly called Anabaptists are the only people that never symbolized with the Papacy." I am in full agreement with Newton. This "one" very thing is what filled Foxes Book of Martyrs with subject matter.
A few of the many things that symbolize with the Roman catholic pagan beliefs are:
Synods & Governing Counsels
Today there are basically four types of church government. They are episcopacy, Presbyterianism, totalitarian, and congregationalism.
Episcopacy has bishops to rule over congregations in certain areas of a country. One of their base doctrines is that a bishop is the overseer of the various church pastors known as inferior clergy and the right to rule belongs to the Episcopal office.
Presbyterianism has two classes of elders, preaching elders and ruling elders. The pastor and ruling elders of a congregation are known as the "session of the church." The "session" conducts all the business of the church, and accepts, denies, or excludes members. The presbytery then answers to a Synod who then answers to a General Assembly, whose decisions are final.
Totalitarian government is exactly what the term describes. The total power and decision making process lies in the hands of one person. Usually the pastor/bishop.
Congregationalism is totally opposite to Episcopacy, Totalitarianism, and Presbyterianism in that the governing power is in the hands of the members of the congregation and not with the bishop & elders. We Baptists, by definition, are and have been since the first century, Congregationalists. The congregation composes and ratifies its own scriptural bylaws and constitutions, chooses her own pastor, assigns officers & teachers, oversee's to the upkeep of the churches properties and chooses its own missionaries & missionary efforts in reverent prayer. The majority of the members vote is then final and guided by the New Testament of Jesus Christ.
The Lutheran historian Mosheim, who was a persecutor of the Baptists spoke of the congregational government of the first century church by saying: The churches in those early times were entirely independent, none of them being subject to any foreign jurisdiction, but each governed by its own rulers and its own laws; for, though the churches founded by the apostles had this particular deference shown to them, that they were consulted in difficult and doubtful cases, yet they had no juridical authority, no sort of supremacy over the others nor the least right to enact laws for them. (Maclaines Mosheims Church History, Baltimore edition, Vol. I, p. 39.)
History has shown that when governments control churches, the truth is lost in the governing. The term "State Church" is so repugnant to our beliefs frankly because compromise is always there to raise it's ugly head. The one tool the government can use to bring churches under their control is by the church incorporating. How many realize that a corporation only exists by permission of the government, has no constitutionally protected rights, is an entity of the state, and the government is sovereign over the corporation.
In a supreme court ruling, the court defined corporations with the following statement:
Many of our churches today have stepped into the government trap of incorporation. The reason they've sought government incorporation is they've believed the lie that "incorporation protects the church from law suits". The problem is that once incorporated, the church body becomes an entity existing by permission of the government and are then a target to be sued. The facts are that incorporation does very little to protect the church. In all actuality, a church cannot be sued and/or brought into court until it incorporates because the church is not an entity recognized in law. so it can't be sued if the court doesn't recognize it and a church is not subject to the jurisdiction of the courts. On the flip side, if a church incorporates, it defiantly can be sued because it is recognized by the courts.
Secondly, upon entering into a contract with the government by incorporation, a church is then subject to the IRS. When the government has the power to tax churches, sooner or later it has the power to control them. If you don't believe me then research the case of Indianapolis Baptist Temple on February 12, 2001. The church was seized because they refused to report love offerings, withhold employee income taxes, Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes.
Female Preachers & Pastors
Talk about a hot potato. This particular subject has drawn almost as many battle lines as forms of baptism. The argument stems from the Great Commission where Jesus said: "Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." making every one of us a preacher of a sort. Male and female alike.
The problem is that the Apostle Paul also told us how we are to conduct ourselves "inside" the congregation and one of his subjects was the women speaking in the assembly.
For a woman to be a pastor, shouldn't she be scripturally qualified? For her to fill such a position in the church where she has authority over the men of the church is against the very Scriptures they want to stand for! The Scriptures use the title of bishop for pastor. Let's see what the Scriptures say about the qualifications of the bishop are:
It has even been suggested that the ladies of the church are being kept as second class members because of Paul's writings. That is just plumb silly. Women in the Baptist churches have always been the one driving force that has been indispensable to the cause of Christ. From my own observations, many a church would have had to shut their doors if it hadn't been for the women of the congregation. To suggest that these ladies of God are second class members because the calling to preach in the congregation isn't one of their gifts is insulting to them and plumb ignorant. Each and every one in the church has been given a special calling according to their gifts, man and woman alike. 1st Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. If the Lord set down a way for us to conduct ourselves, why should we question an All Mighty God who knows best in all things?
Tongues, Prophecy, & Instant Fore-Knowledge
Creeping very gradually into the churches is the notion of Tongues, Prophecy, and Knowledge. These were the gifts of the 1st century church and the early church knew this fact. Why, because the Apostle Paul called them things which were in part or incomplete.
So what is it that is "perfect" the Apostle was talking about? It couldn't be referring to the Lord Jesus. He had already come and then ascended to the Father. It couldn't have been the Holy Spirit because He was already there at this time. The word perfect (that which is completed) doesn't refer to the person of God because HE IS AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN COMPLETE and not waiting to be completed. It is the Bible. The PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY spoken of by James. James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
The scriptures were completed at the end of the first century. This is one thing totally forgotten by the brethren today who, for the sake of a novelty, to please the flesh, embrace and reclaim these vanished & unnecessary gifts. Paul said something in verse 11 of chapter 13 of 1st Corinthians that will most likely go against the grain of those who embrace these things. He called them childish. 1st Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Loss of Salvation or Falling from Grace
This subject is quite frankly where the old Baptist stands very much alone. We do and always have believed that once you are saved, there is no turning back or loosing that salvation. This belief has continued since the first century and was not disputed until the Roman Catholic Church thought it best that they have the keys to heaven and hell and in order to control the masses. They would then tell those who believed her lies that their salvation can be removed from them. That in it's self is ample reason to not believe your salvation can be lost.
But simply because the RCC stands in opposition to eternal security is not how we are to base our beliefs. They must be derived from scripture and no other place. Psalms 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 119:104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 119:106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. 119:107 I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word.
So then we MUST consult the Word of God to come up with the answer. Lets consider this then. It is me who was "Born Again". I became a new creature when I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior. Correct? So what became saved? Was it my flesh (physical body)? No, it's sown in corruption... What is saved is my soul... 1st Corinthians 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
Therefore, before I was saved, the soul was at the mercy of the flesh. If the flesh were to die before I choose the Lord as my Savior, the soul would have gone to the pits of Hell. No if's, ands, or buts about it. But, to God be the Glory, it was my soul that was saved. James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. So my soul is the creature that became that child of God, of whom the Lord can not, nor will not turn away. If indeed my soul is that which is born of God is saved then it is NO LONGER able to sin. 1st John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Salvation is the delivery, to use a child bearing phrase, of the soul into the kingdom of God which not only makes us intimately part of the family but the same as in our earthly family, I cannot possibly deny the relationship and knowledge of my siblings... Same is said for the Lord Jesus and his knowledge of us. John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand and they follow me: 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and . 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 10:30 I and my Father are one.
So to recap, if the Savior says he knows us then it is certainly impossible for him to say He never knew us because of His statement in John 10. (My sheep hear my voice, and I know them) Yet, he tells those who come to him in the judgment: Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
For him to tell someone who, if it were possible, lost their salvation I never knew you, wouldn't the Lord then be telling a lie? Plainly, Jesus did say He knew us in John 10. Using a bit of Spiritual common sense, we would realize that those who were saying "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" never really were saved in the first place... Think about it...
Now, to point out the obvious: John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand and they follow me: 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and . 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 10:30 I and my Father are one.
When Jesus said "they shall never perish"! So what does never mean? Never means unending or will not stop or end. There is nothing temporary about it. The next point I want you to consider is no one is as mighty as God and Jesus says "neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" & He said about God the Father is greater than all and "no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand". Now who is mightier than the Living God and strong enough to take anyone out of His hand or escape his hand. Not you, and certainly not me.
Then comes the argument that one can commit the sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. My answer to them is this. A born again child of God cannot commit the sin of Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit because that is total rejection of the call of God to salvation. When one studies a precept of eternal security, the context and the ones who were being addressed in the context have to be considered.
Sin unto death:
The Unpardonable Sin or Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit:
Some would say these are one and the same but they aren't. Look at the surrounding Scriptures of in each of these verses and you will see that with Romans 6:16 & 1st John 5:16, the subject, which is the Sin unto Death, is being addressed to the believer.
When we look at the context of Matthew 12, we see the subject is to the unbeliever. Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
To summarize, the sin unto death would then be simply put, that we have gotten so bad that we ignore the chastisement of God. Don't tell me you haven't seen a brother or sister pay no mind to a clear spanking from the Lord God. So, the "Sin Unto Death" is simply where the Lord brings that soul home instead of allowing them to bring more shame on the name of God in the flesh. (If God can't do anything with you here, he'll just bring you home before you cause any more harm). After all, it isn't the soul that's doing the sinning because it is born of God, it is the flesh. 1st John 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And the Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the total rejection of the call of the Holy Spirit to come to God for salvation. These two terms are different and separately distinct things.
Copyright © Tim Davis Sr., 2008