"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A Post Deserving of Your Close Attention

There are a few men and women that I read in the blog world that, each and every time they write, I am either edified, taught, or come away thinking, "that is a voice the entire SBC needs to hear in this day of confusion."

David Rogers, a missionary for the International Mission Board is one of those persons whose writing does the above for me. David needs no formal introduction, but his newest post deserves your close attention.

His post is entitled The Universal Church, Landmarkism, and John Dagg


bryan riley said...

He always is thoughtful and a great source of wisdom. He also is one that people of all persuasions struggle to attack personally.

Cass said...

Many years ago I heard as a little boy in the Methodist Church "Where the Spirit of the Lord is...there is the true church...apostolic and universal." and I still agree.

The Spirit of the Lord is in every true born again Christian and he is a part of that church that great body of Christ.

In every local Church and in every denomination there are members of that great body...whose name is written in the Lambs Book of Life.

It is our duty to love, to cooperate and to assist them in every way possible. Their ministry is our ministry.

Roger Simpson said...


I had to look in a book to see what "Landmarkism" is -- at least what it is according to the "dictionary definition".

According to the "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology" landmarkism (a) emphasis the local congregation over the 'universal' church, and (b) also landmarkers consider that there is a "direct succession" from John the Baptist to "true" Baptist churchs today. This succession is in contravention to the Roman Catholic chain which purports to flow to Peter to the present pope.

Growing up in a Southern Baptist church I was aware of the "direct succession" argument and I think there was a book written by some guy from San Antonio TX (called
something like Trail of Blood) that made the Landmark case for a John the Baptist to present day Baptist succession.

In any case, both of these Landmark tendencies would mitigate against cooperation since they both see "their" particular congregration in a "unique" state.

Bob Cleveland said...


Landmarkism would seem to deny the priesthood of the believer, and attach more credence to history of who anointed whom, than to the present-day reality of the Holy Spirit, and His ability to control and direct unto glorious purpose, the lives of those who are willing to relinquish that control.

When I think of the miracles I have personally seen, I don't connect them to a church service. I connect them to being about God's work and seeing Him do things I cannot do. Those have happened since I have belonged to a Baptist church, but to credit them to the denomination is to denigrate the work of the Holy Spirit.

Do we do the same thing when we further refine and re-define what an SBC missionary, student, professor et al, can and cannot be?

I think so.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. Also for the previous nod to Thom Rainer's comments. I am a frequesnt lurker but never comment. I consider myself one of the old school moderates, more of your father's generation. When I was at SWBTS and first heard of Landmarkism Robert Naylor was pres. I have wathched the conservative resurgence as one who cared little for politics, but was more about doing missions and evangelism. I still believe that there is much good in the SBC and pastor a church that gives 12 % to CP, and our total missions support including the local BSU and association and direct gifts to missionaries with a local connection equals 21% off the top. I mention that just to help you see how I love and support the SBC, and our missionaries, and place a priority on evangelsim. I have wept over those pushed out by the increasing narrowness of our convention. I never thought there would come a day when missionaries would be forced from the field because they refused to sign an instrument of doctrinal accountablility, and yet they have. I have personally been harrassed by misinformed and mean spirited people who felt it was their duty to weed out "liberals."
I would like to mention two books, one old and one pretty new, to your readers that have helped me see my place as first of all a believer in Christ, and then secondly as a baptist. Fischer Humprey's, The Way We Were I found to be very helpful in showing the things we have in common with all believers, and where the differences lie. Recently I picked up Tony Campolo's, Letters to a Young Evangelical, which you won't find at Lifeway since it is critical of the SBC as it has become, but is none the less very informative and thought provoking. one last question. Does anyone find it interesting that Lifeway has no problem with promoting Max Lucado's books (which I enjoy, by the way) but he would probably not qualify as one with whom the new guidelines would have us partner in ministry. Just thinking. Tommy

Wade Burleson said...


You are spot on in your observations.


You are dead on in your question.


As always you are always on target.

Cass and Byran,


docjoc said...

Bob Cleveland,

My observation from reading many posts and from hearing many sermons in our Baptist church is that Baptists are afraid of the Holy Spirit's works.

HOw else can I go weeks if not months without hearing the word "Holy Spirit" except at Baptism or as a distant theological concept.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Wade for allowing anonymous back on board. I have little doubt that I was the cause of your recent ban. If I reply again I will think it over over night and try to abide with your request to be nice. I printed off the copy of the email the ex-preacher sent you along with your reply to him and also the posts you received about it and I am studying it closely.

Roger Simpson said...


I did more research regarding Landmarkism -- especially as it regards the Southern Baptist Convention.

The author of the booklet "The Trail of Blood" was James Milton Carroll. Carroll was an SBC leader in TX and OK.

He grew up in TX. His parents moved from AR to TX in 1858 and settled in BURLESON county TX.

For a while Carroll was the president of Oklahoma Baptist University.

According to Jesse Fletcher's book THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION, Landmarkism was a subset of a broader "successionist" movement which started in the 1830s in England and was picked up in the USA and practiced by some in the nascent SBC when it started in 1845.

J M Carroll was the brother of B H Carroll. B H Carroll was the one of the founders of the BGCT so Baptists in Texas have had a Landmark strain from the get go -- just as this strain has historical roots in OK, TN and elsewhere.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Wade Burleson said...


Well done. I am quite familiar with the history of Landmarkism, my forefather himself, Rufus Burleson, being an early proponent. I believe it is historically inaccurate, theologically inadequate and ecclesiologically insufficient.

Translation: Landmarkism misses the roots of Baptists histororically by denying we began with a separation from the Church of England and the early 17th Century Puritans by claiming a direct line of Baptist churches can be traced from John the Baptist.

Landmarkism misses it theologically because it diminishes to almost non-existance the universal church of Christ, by acknowledging no church but a local church.

Landmarkism misses it ecclesiologically by establishing pastors as priests and the congregants as laity, so that the only effective 'baptism' or 'Lord's supper' as those performed at the hands of duly authorized and ordained Baptist pastors.

Bob Cleveland said...


Oh yes ... if it's only the local church that God's referring to in His word, then we're all in a heap of trouble. I don't see every local church ever being spotless and without blemish, and that's what God named as the reason Jesus gave Himself up for her.

Debbie said...

There are unbelievers in the local church who claim the name of Christian, yet not all have been truly born again.

In the Universal church, all are true born again Christians, from every tribe, nation and tongue(Revelation).

The Universal Church is without stain and blemish, having been covered by the blood of the Lamb.

TruthOfActs said...

It’s interesting you do not quote anything in “Trail of Blood” that proves your beliefs. Did you become familiar with the book by reading it or just quoting what enemies of the book have said?

Carroll’s book used to be the pride and joy at SWBTS, but then so was Dilday.
I think I know why the two were kicked out. I’ll pass for now why the book was given the boot.

The book does not claim Christ’ Church started with John the Baptist as show below:

Wade, I could not get my comment to go through with what I had copy-pasted from the book. I’ll leave it off and see if it will go through now.
Rex Ray

TruthOfActs said...

“Baptists do not believe in Apostolic Succession. The Apostolic office ceased with the death of the Apostles. It is to His churches that He promised a continual existence from the time He organized the first one during His earthly ministry until He comes again. He promised--
"I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18)
Then, when He gave the great Commission, which tells what His churches are to do, He promised--
"I will be with you alway, even unto the end of the age." (Matt. 28:20)
This Commission--this work--was not given to the Apostles as individuals, but to them and the others present in their church capacity. The Apostles and the others who heard Him give this Commission were soon dead--BUT, His Church has lived on through the ages, making disciples (getting folks saved), baptizing them, and teaching the truth--the doctrines--He committed to the Jerusalem Church. These faithful churches have been blessed with His presence as they have traveled the TRAIL OF BLOOD.
This history shows how the Lord's promise to His churches has been fulfilled. Dr. Carroll shows that churches have been found in every age which have taught the doctrines He committed unto them. Dr. Carroll calls these doctrines the "marks" of New Testament Churches.
1. Its Head and Founder--CHRIST. He is the law-giver; the Church is only the executive. (Matt. 16:18; Col. 1:18)
2. Its only rule of faith and practice--THE BIBLE. (II Tim. 3:15-17)
3. Its name--"CHURCH," "CHURCHES." (Matt. 16:18; Rev. 22:16)
4. Its polity--CONGREGATIONAL--all members equal. (Matt. 20:24-28; Matt. 23:5-12)
5. Its members--only saved people. (Eph. 2:21; I Peter 2:5)
6. Its ordinances--BELIEVERS' BAPTISM, FOLLOWED BY THE LORD'S SUPPER. (Matt. 28:19-20)
7. Its officers--PASTORS AND DEACONS. (I Tim. 3:1-16)
8. Its work--getting folks saved, baptizing them (with a baptism that meets all the requirements of God's Word), teaching them ("to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you"). (Matt. 28:16-20)
9. Its financial plan--"Even so (TITHES and OFFERINGS) hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel," (I Cor. 9:14)
10. Its weapons of warfare--spiritual, not carnal. (II Cor. 10:4; Eph. 6:10-20)
11. Its independence--separation of Church and State. (Matt. 22:21)”

Wade, this sounds Baptist to me. Maybe your forefather had it right until ‘conservatives’ took over.
Rex Ray

Debbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie said...

Rex Ray: Here are JM Carroll's own words concerning the purpose of the "Trail Of Blood"

"The purpose of this book and chart is to show according to History that Baptists have an unbroken line of churches since Christ and have fulfilled His prophecy -- "I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT." In the irregular churches is clearly seen the growth of Catholicism and Protestantism. Baptists are not Protestants since they did not come out of the Catholic Church."

For an unabridged online version of this book go to:


G. Alford said...


Landmarkism is “A Clear and Present Threat” to the SBC…

The fundamental danger of Landmarkism is the very matter of fact way in which it defines “What constitutes a Local Church”. Dr. Carroll rolls out his list of 11 Landmarks as if he was speaking with the authority of the “Holy Spirit”. I know this will be offensive to some… but Landmarkism reeks of the stench of Rome.

What is so offensive about the Landmarkism that has recently turned up at the IMB is that when you reject one’s baptism as invalid, you are in reality stating that one’s “local church” is invalid… just as the Church of Rome sees all but themselves as invalid.

I think this is what David was alluding to in his post…

Grace to all

TruthOfActs said...

You're talking to the choir. I've bought over 100 of Carroll's books.

TruthOfActs said...

I respect Dave Rogers and believe he has a lot on the ball. He complains that Baptists seem NOT to cooperate with others unless they share our beliefs AND our specifically “Baptist distinctive”.

He is talking about other denominations, but Morris Chapman complains that Baptists don’t even cooperate with other Baptists.
He gives a challenge in the Friday 2-23-07 Dallas Morning News:

“A top Southern Baptists executive says leaders in the convention should examine the spiritual health of the denomination now that theological conservatives have been in control for several years.

Morris Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist executive committee, said his fellow leaders must look at whether the 16.3 million-member church is now better off.
“Is our convention any better spiritually because biblical conservatives are leading? I leave that question for you to answer in the depths of your own heart.”
The conservative resurgence started in 1979, when Southern Baptists angry about what they saw as the liberal direction of their seminaries, elected a fellow conservative as the convention president. It was a watershed that began a dramatic shift to the right—theologically and politically—in the years that followed.
But in the last few years, the number of baptisms…has reached a low point, and many of the congregations have either not grown or declined in membership. Internal conflicts have arisen over whether Southern Baptist can speak in tongues during worship, among other theological disagreements.
Chapman said that cooperation among Southern Baptists is the ‘glue’ that holds us together. Are you willing to take the risk of trusting your fellow Southern Baptists and being worthy of their trust?”

Wade, this is the third time I’ve mentioned Chapman’s article, but no one has replied. Do people believe he’s right but too embarrassed to admit it?

At one time, conservatives said ‘doctrine’ was the glue that held us together. Has Chapman realized ‘doctrine’ has divided Baptist?
Rex Ray

bryan riley said...

How is congregational (and all members equal) consistent with complementarianism or patriarchalism/authoritarianism? How do complementarian congregationalists of the landmark order jive the two?

TruthOfActs said...

G. Alford,
I’m utterly in wonderment of your saying Carroll’s 11 doctrines of a New Testament Church is “Landmarks.”
Is it because you think, “…as if he was speaking with the authority of the Holy Spirit”?
Now that you mentioned it, maybe he was. If I say “God is love”, am I speaking with the authority of the Holy Spirit? Is that Landmarkism?

Do you have a problem with him saying that Christ is the head of the Church?

If you want to belittle his book, why don’t you call him a Communist or better yet a LIBERAL?

Hey! I think I know what you don’t like. You don't like his #4 saying the only rule of faith and practice is the Bible, and gives II Tim. 3:15-17.
[and that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”]

Why don’t you give Carroll a break, he died over 30 years before the BFM 1963 was even written.

Here is some history that traces Baptists way back:
Cardinal Hosius (Catholic, 1524), President of the Council of Trent: "Were it not that the Baptists have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the past twelve hundred years, they would swarm in greater number than all the Reformers." (Hosius, Letters, Apud Opera, pp. 112, 113.)

Sir Isaac Newton: "The Baptists are the only body of known Christians that have never symbolized with Rome."

Mosheim (Lutheran): "Before the rise of Luther and Calvin, there lay secreted in almost all the countries of Europe persons who adhered tenaciously to the principles of modern Dutch Baptists."
Rex Ray

TruthOfActs said...

Bryan Riley,
Who are you talking to? If it’s me, I don’t know what you’re asking.

Debbie said...

"Trail of Blood" has been introduced as the classic Landmarkist view of Baptist History. That should be a clue. :) That was also my point in my last post Rex.

TruthOfActs said...

Comrade, thanks for telling me (and anyone else that can read) that the “Trail of Blood” has been INTRODUCED as a Landmarkist view of Baptist History.

I always wondered what excuse the powers that be used to denounce this book since it upset their applecart of ‘inerrancy.’

History records that one man went around blasting the leaders and elders of the Jerusalem Church. Did he believe they were teaching that obeying the Jewish laws were necessary for salvation?
(Acts 21:20) “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law.”

Did this man take Paul’s words literally? (Galatians 1:8) “Let God’s curse fall on anyone…who preaches any other way to be saved…if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let him be forever cursed.”

I believe if this man had a blog, he would have been another Wade Burleson.
I believe he was as ‘Baptist’ in his thinking as Paul, and that thinking was kept alive for 2000 years because “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

It doesn’t take very much dot connecting or ‘smarts’ to see why inerrantists would scream at Carroll’s words:

“These great churches necessarily had many preachers or elders (Acts 20:17). Some of the bishops or pastors began to assume authority not given them in the New Testament. They began to claim authority over other and smaller churches. They, with their many elders, began to lord it over God's heritage (III John 9).”

Third John 9: “I [an apostle or an elder?] sent a brief letter to the church [big church Jerusalem] about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, [of small church] does not acknowledge our authority.” (New Living Translation copyright 1997)
Old Living Bible says, “…but proud Diotrephes…does not admit my authority over him and refuses to listen to me.”

I believe Diotrephes thought 2 John 1:8-10 was a different way of salvation that Paul said to curse when “The Elder” wrote:

“Beware of…losing the prize [heaven?] that you and I have been working [faith plus works?] so hard to get…if you wander [stop doing works?] beyond the teaching of Christ [his interpretation?] you will leave God behind.” [going to hell?]

If Carroll had left off his reference of 3rd John, his book might still be the joy of SWBTS, but then he would not have been revealing “grace and truth.”
Rex Ray

David Rogers said...


As I point out on this post, I believe the "Conservative Resurgence" and the "Baptist Renaissance" in the SBC, although there may be some crossover, are two separate movements. My main point is that there are some, like myself, who support the key values of the "Conservative Resurgence" (although not claiming perfection in the way it was carried about), who do not necessarily, at the same time, go along with some of the denominationalist rhetoric associated with the "Baptist Renaissance." It is a new twist for me, though, to support the Trail of Blood, and not the "Conservative Resurgence." Would you also consider yourself a Landmarker?

I'm not trying to be critical. Just trying to understand your position a little better.

J.D. Rector said...

Wade: Thanks for your link to David Rogers comments! I was a fellow student with David during our days at Mid-America Seminary. He is a dear brother and again thanks for giving his perspective on the current atmosphere in the SBC.
By Christ' grace alone...
J.D. Rector

G. Alford said...


Sorry to have upset you brother…

I slammed Carroll with the comment “…as if he was speaking with the authority of the Holy Spirit”? Because I think it highly arrogant for any one man to take it upon himself to write a definition of the church that “excludes” (see #4) entire protestant denominations…

Grace to all,

TruthOfActs said...

My apologies to Wade,
I thought you were talking about the ‘Trail of Blood’ when you said you were familiar with the history of Landmarkism, and gave five characteristic about it:
1. Deny Baptists began with a separation from the Church of England.
2. Baptist churches can be traced from John the Baptist.
3. No church but the local church.
4. Pastors as priest.
5. Baptism and Lord Supper only effective by ‘authorized’ personnel.

Does the Trail of Blood agree with these statements?--true or false?
1. True
2. False—# 1. Its head and Founder – Christ. (Matthew 16:18 “I will build my church.” Colossians 1:18 “He is also the head of the body, the church.”
3. False--# 3. Its name -- “Church,” “Churches.” (Matthew 16:18 “I will build my church.” [Would not Christ be referring to his ‘universal church?] Revelation 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to attest these things to you for the churches.”) [Would not all the churches make up the universal church?]
4. False--# 4. Its polity…Congregational—all members equal. (Matthew 20:24-28; 23:5-12)
5. False--# 4

Lets see—how did all this get started? Roger Simpson said, “…Trail of Blood made the Landmark case for John the Baptist to present day Baptist succession. The author…was J. M. Carroll, brother of B. H. Carroll…one of the founders of the BGCT, so Baptists in Texas have had a Landmark strain from the get go.”

WOW! Wade, I think I’ll take some of that apology back because you told Roger, “Well done.”

Well done?
1. How is a book a Landmarker when only one of its five characteristics of Landmarker is true?
2. How does being a brother make you of the same thinking?
3. How do 5,000 plus churches think the same of one the founders of the BGCT?
4. How can Texas Baptists have a Landmark strain when most have never heard of it; much less know what it is?

I didn’t know what Landmark meant until I read Roger’s definition on his first post.

G. Alford,
You said, “I slammed Carroll…because I think it highly arrogant for any one man to take it upon himself to write a definition of the church that “excludes” (see #4) entire protestant denominations.”

# 4 states: “Its polity – Congregational—all members equal.”

I don’t know why you’re upset with all members being equal unless you believe some protestant denominations don’t have members that are equal. Are there any denominations that give members two votes instead of one?

I would think you would be more upset with the SBC telling its churches what sex the pastor must be and signing creeds or the IMB firing missionaries, and on and on.

David Rogers,
I guess you can see by now I’m not a Landmarker. I don’t believe Carroll was a Landmarker nor did he write a Landmarker book. He died in 1931 when my uncle, Rex Ray, was a S.B. missionary who was called of God, accountable to God, and about all the advice he got from the FMB was a check. His first born died in China when she was 5,saying, “Mama, which one is our house?” His son also retired as a S. B. missionary, and now his son, Mark Ray, has 20 plus years on the field. (BTW Roger, second cousins don’t mean they believe alike either.)

I never heard of “Baptist Renaissance” until today, and don’t know what it means. I didn’t know the Trail of Blood and the Conservative Resurgence was an either or choice. Now I could see some of the Trail of Blood contradicting ‘inerrancy’, and I really believe that is why the book was condemned. What’s your take on Chapman’s article, but I know you can’t answer because you’re an employee. A missionary’s letter or email (requesting cancellation of the Baptist Press) ended up on Chapman’s desk, and he called Rankin to get his missionaries in line. Long story short—fired missionaries.

Once, I gave your father my ‘Truth Of Acts’ article but I never heard from him. Of course, I’ve never heard from 99%. One lady in Japan told me it was the best she had ever read to put her to sleep. I never understood your father saying, “Scripture cannot be set against Scripture.” I think that’s the right quote.

I know you’re working for the Lord, and you know more than a friend of mine who is a S. B. missionary 25 plus years that asked, “If I just preach the Gospel, am I a conservative or a moderate?” I believe missionaries are being used as pawns on a chessboard of who stays in power and control.
Rex Ray

David Rogers said...


I presume you are aware that your opinion that J.M. Carroll and The Trail of Blood were not Landmarkist goes against the opinions of many. For example the Wikipedia article on Carroll reads as follows:

"James Milton Carroll (January 8, 1852 – January 11, 1931) was a Baptist pastor, leader, historian, and author. James Milton was one of twelve children born to Benajah and Mary Eliza (Mallard) Carroll. His father was a Baptist minister. He was born near Monticello, Arkansas and moved with his parents to Burleson County, Texas in 1858.

J. M. Carroll married Sudie Eliza Wamble on December 22, 1870.

Carroll was a denominational leader both in the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Southern Baptist Convention. His works include Texas Baptist Statistics, A History of Texas Baptists, and B. H. Carroll, the Colossus of Baptist History, a biography of his brother Benajah Harvey. Active as an educator, he led in founding and was the first president of San Marcos Baptist Academy. He later served as president of Oklahoma Baptist University and Howard Payne College. He was an amateur ornithologist and owned a large collection of bird eggs. His lasting legacy among Baptists, for which he is both honored and vilified, is his little booklet on Baptist history entitled The Trail of Blood, published in 1931. This booklet promotes the Landmarkist view of Baptist origins.

James Milton Carroll died in Fort Worth, Texas."

But, then again, I imagine you may have done quite a bit of research, and are prepared to defend your thesis to the contrary.

I am happy to hear of the missionary roots in your family. I am sure you have many things to be legitimately proud of in your family heritage.

The term "Baptist Renaissance," inasmuch as I am aware, comes from Dr. Yarnell's article, referenced in my post I linked to earlier.

I do not consider the Trail of Blood and the Conservative Resurgence to be an "either/or" choice. I am sure there are many who support both, just as I am sure there are many who support neither. What surprised me a bit was the option of supporting Trail of Blood and not supporting the Conservative Resurgence, since the Trail of Blood is most well known as supporting the ecclesiological suppositions of Landmarkist and Fundamentalist Baptists.

I am not sure what you are referring to when you say the book (The Trail of Blood) was "condemned." Maybe I missed something along the way that is causing me to miss your point here. Also, though I myself affirm inerrancy, and do not agree with everything in the Trail of Blood (although I admit there is much in the Trail of Blood that is accurate, and relevant), I am unaware of where the Trail of Blood might contradict inerrancy. Perhaps you could point me to the specific place or concepts you have in mind here.

As far as "Chapman's article" is concerned, I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Chapman, and believe he is essentially on target in his article, as well as in the general stance he has taken as a leader in the SBC. From what I am pick up from your observations, you are perhaps wanting to pit Chapman as over against the Conservative Resurgence. If such is the case, I believe you are misreading Chapman's article. Pay attention especially to the line: "I thank God we went through the resurgence in spite of its difficulty, in spite of its hardship on all of us, regardless of position in the convention..." I agree in essence with Chapman that the C.R. in its initial concept and purposes was a good thing, and necessary in the SBC, but, now 25 years later, it is in danger of becoming something that goes beyond the intentions of at least some of the initial leaders, including, I believe personally, my father.

I was not aware of the story of the missionary letter ending up on Dr. Chapman's desk, and the missionaries' subsequent dismissal. Without further details and confirmation, I really can't comment one way or the other.

I am not familiar with your Truth of Acts article either. Do you have it posted on your blog? Also, I don't know if there is some context for your quote of my father "Scripture cannot be set against Scripture." It seems quite straight-forward to me. God, being the author of all of Scripture, and being totally true and trustworthy, would never contradict Himself. Do you see this differently?

Whether missionaries are being used as pawns or not I suppose depends on your perspective. I hope that such is not the case. I do believe, however, that there must be some minimal doctrinal basis for the missionary work we do through IMB. It would not be right, or even ethical, as I understand it, to send Unitarians, Catholics or even Pentecostals, for that matter, to promulgate their ideas with Cooperative Program money. I guess the big question is not whether or not there should be doctrinal parameters, but rather, what those parameters should be. Would you not agree with this?

G. Alford said...


I have no problem with saying that “all members are equal” before God. Or that when it is proper for the membership of a congregation to vote that all members should have an equal vote.

Do you have a problem with (Eph.4:11-12)? “11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” This verse demonstrates the diversity of giftedness and authority that God has given to the church.

Or perhaps it is (Tit.1:5) that you have a problem with? Carroll seems to have left this verse out of definition of a New Testament Church – “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:

Or is it (1Tim.5:17) that you have a problem with? Carroll did not include this verse either – “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”

Or do you have a problem with (Heb.13:17)? – “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.”

What I have a problem with is the “EXCLUSIVE” claim that only “Hyper-Congregationalist Polity” constitutes a “NEW TESTAMENT (true) CHURCH”.

Brother Rex, it is the attitude of “We alone are the true New Testament Church” that is offensive to me…

With that… Grace to all,

Karen in OK said...

Hello g.alford,

I believe that Calvin said the mark of a true church was where the Word of God was truly preached and where the "sacraments" were performed according to Christ's institution. And that proper discipline was indispensable.

You spoke of "the stench of Rome". Yet you also spoke of arrogance of Baptists thinking they had a monopoly. What other denominations do you think are ok?
Is the mode of baptism just a peripheral issue? Doesn't seem to have been peripheral in Calvin's view.
For whatever it is worth, I was a member of an Evangelical Free church for several years, so I am not coming from the viewpoint that only Baptist churches are ever right.

TruthOfActs said...

G. Alford,
How can you judge Carroll’s attitude without analyzing his words? You keep putting in extra words when you quote him. Example: Carroll writes # 4 “Its polity – Congregational – all members equal.”
(This is not true of Catholics, but it’s true of other denominations as well as Baptists, right?)

In a previous comment, you said you had a problem with # 4, and today, you quote it as “Hyper-Congregationalist Polity.” Where do you find “Hyper”?

You said, “It is the attitude of ‘We alone are the true New Testament Church’ that is offensive to me.”
Did you find this quote in Carroll’s writings, or only in your attitude?

Carroll’s # 5 further clarifies who makes up the Universal church of the New Testament: “Its members – only saved people.”

Alford, with your attitude, you read his # 5 as saying, “Its members – only Baptists.”

What’s your point of asking me if I have a problem with 4 Scriptures that you quoted?
I could comment on Hebrews 13:17, that using that Scripture alone might lead to the thinking that Paul fought against in his day (the pastor is a pope) shown by the writing of the second bishop of Antioch when he said:
“We ought to receive every one whom the Master of the house sends to be over His household, as we would do Him that sent him. It is manifest, therefore, that we would look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord Himself.” (Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Wheaton College)

OK, I know—your mind is made up (or brainwashed), so don’t confuse you with the facts. If you were old, you would be proud of our ancestors as they were called Anabaptist for refusing to baptize babies for salvation in 251 A D.
But with your attitude, their dying through all those years that we might have our faith of today, was all for nothing. Whose were Christ’ Church—those burning at the stake, or those striking the matches?

I like the way you write by stating facts and not just opinions. I knew nothing of Carroll except of what was in his booklet, and my father (Baptist preacher, chaplain, school teacher, farmer etc) believed his words. I never read his booklet until after 1997. So I’m not the expert on Carroll—I just read his book with an open mind, and I don’t see Landmark, Communists, or rebel in anything he wrote.

I don’t have a thesis, but I believe the ones that do set out to destroy his creditability for the same reason they changed Foxes Book of Martyrs. The original pictured James (the brother of Jesus) as a pope. Raised as a Nazirite, James was the go-between the people and God. He was the only one allowed in the Holy Place—praying for the sins of the people to be forgiven, and the Pharisees said they and all the people should obey him.

Now did that look good for the Bible to have a pope as one of its authors? No. They couldn’t say Foxes Book of Martyrs was Landmark, so they wrote a new one describing James as one who could have been a Baptist preacher.

These people with their theses could not write a new Trail of Blood so they destroy Carroll’s creditability by screaming, “Landmarker.” Why did they do it? Same reason—to keep the Bible authors without blemish.
When Carroll wrote that big churches began to run over small churches and gave an example of 3 John verse 9, he practically said the author was the bad guy. Now if the author is a bad guy what would that do to the inerrancy of his writing?

Thanks for mentioning my missionary roots. I also have a son who was a S B missionary for seven years, and I’ve received many ‘Thank you’ from Rankin for my 18 volunteer oversea trips in construction for the SBC.

Thank you for commenting on Chapman’s article. It’s true what you said about his article. The BOLD thing I picked up on was his last sentence: “Are you willing to take the risk of trusting your fellow Southern Baptists and being worthy of their trust?”

What did he mean, “…take the risk of trusting your fellow Southern Baptists…”?

He did not say ‘fellow conservative Southern Baptist’. Also there would be no “risk” in trusting conservatives, but the “risk” would be in trusting moderate Southern Baptists. The emphasis of his article is for ALL Southern Baptists to cooperate for the glue to hold us together.

The letter on Chapman’s desk was reported in the Baptists Standard. I wrote Rankin a letter and his reply of August 8, 2002 states: “Morris Chapman did not ask me to call __________, as reported; I did so because of my personally concern for one of our effective missionaries I respected who was obviously having a problem due to some unfortunate perceptions. Where did anyone get the idea that our missionaries are being “forced” to sign something that they may not agree with, or that anyone would be terminated if they did not respond to my request? Neither of those positions has been advocated or communicated by the IMB. I am disappointed that you would presume to attribute motives of “enlarged egos” to those conscientious denominational leaders who are seeking to keep the SBC anchored to the inerrant word of God.

Yes, my blog contains the Truth of Acts if you go down far enough.

As far as “Scripture cannot be set against Scripture”, I believe to understand some Scripture; you must study all Scripture that pertains to the subject. I believe as wind separates chaff from grain, the Holy Spirit separates Scripture from the words of men.

Missionaries as pawns?

Several years ago the Executive Committee of the SBC took a long time to rule against the resolution for having only one convention allowed per State. If it had passed, the old conventions of Texas and Virginia would have been excluded. ‘If you don’t sign the BFM that missionaries signed, your money will not be accepted’. Baptists are going to support their missionaries and in that sense, missionaries would have been used as pawns. In one sense, some were told money would not be given them if they did not sign the BFM, and others would have been told their money would be rejected if they did not sign the BFM.

I believe Baptists will give less to the cooperative program if their money is used by others beside Baptists. Not that we are the only one God is using, but it opens a can of worms.
Rex Ray

David Rogers said...


From what I am able to understand here, you have a somewhat unique point of view. I think the best thing will be for me to read over what you say on your own blog (as time permits), try to understand your position better, and comment there, as I see anything I consider I might have a relevant opinion about.

Fair enough?

G. Alford said...


I think Calvin’s definition of a true church is Biblical, accurate and sufficient. When one goes beyond this it is usually an attempt to say “we are the only ones who are legitimate”.

As I mentioned above, it is the attitude of “We alone are the true New Testament Church” that is offensive to me… and it is this vary attitude that Landmarkism shares with Rome… this is the stench.

There are several denominations that are ok (in my opinion)… I will not agree with everything that they do or believe, but then I am a Southern Baptist and I do not agree with everything that Southern Baptist do either.

The mode of baptism is not a peripheral Issue… Yet many denominations allow for the individual to decide on their mode of baptism based upon personal convictions. And many Non-Southern Baptist churches believe and practice baptism exactly as we do.

So where do the Landmark Baptist get off telling everyone else that they are “Illegitimate Churches” or that people baptized outside of a Landmark Baptist church are to be considered as “Alien Baptisms”?

Luther, Calvin, Owen, Warfield, Hodge, Berkhof, Dabney, and even Spurgeon, as well as countless other great men of God are all labeled by Landmarkism as “Alien Baptisms”…

If this is the future of the SBC… then the SBC is not in my future…


I answered your question (with respect, I might add)… You have chosen to respond to my questions with disrespect…

I take personal offense to being called “brainwashed!”…thank you.

The point to my questions was that Carroll and you seem to believe the “Congregationalism” is exclusively the only form of church government that is acceptable and that unless you are a Congregational church you are not a New Testament Church… to me this is a “Hyper” position… but I am “brainwashed” what would I know?

Grace to all,

Karen in OK said...

Thanks for your comments, g.alford.

Could you clarify what you meant by not wanting to be a part of an SBC that would consider Luther's, Calvin's, Warfield's, etc. baptisms as alien?
It is one thing for an SBC church to accept an immersion done in an E. Free church or a Bible church.
It is another thing to accept a different mode from a Lutheran or Presbyterian church.

Are you saying that SBC churches should accept any mode in which the recipient was sincere?

G. Alford said...


Where the Biblical mode and reason (immersion and faith) are proper, the Baptism is proper and should be accepted…

I would not wish to be a part of an SBC that adopts extra-biblical standards… (I.e. must be baptized in a Baptist Church, by a Baptist Pastor)…

TruthOfActs said...

It’s refreshing to communicate with someone that I believe really listens and understand what people say.

Many years ago, I became puzzled how Christians, with Christ teachings as seen by Paul and Peter, were named Catholic in a short 313 years. I say ‘short’ compared to other religions that haven’t change much in thousands of years.

Paul was puzzled also: “I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who called you by the grace of Christ, and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to change the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6) “…with tears in my eyes, there are many who walk along the Christian road who are really enemies of the cross of Christ.” (Philippians 3:18)

I wish Paul had told names of the “some’ and the “many.” That was my search for truth, and I was surprised to find “the enemy was us.” I printed 2,000 of my article in 1994 without knowing history (Trail of Blood, Foxe’s, etc) but most are in boxes. One of them is what I gave your father.

Our computer blew up, and I lost the article. I studied history and was happy that it agreed with me. (Or the other way around.) I started rewriting. I was nearly finished when a ladder ‘flipped over’ and nearly ended my life—5 weeks in a hospital; but I got closer when I got sick on spoiled hotel food and started bleeding inside (on blood thinner; passed out and stopped breathing.)

I finally finished in December 2004 what most Baptists would probably hate. More Catholics agree that the roots of Catholic and non-Catholic clashed in Acts 15.

David, if you make a comment at the end of my 36 pages, you’ll be the first one.
Rex Ray

TruthOfActs said...

I’ve been putting off answering your last reply. I guess I dreaded on apologizing for showing disrespect in saying “your mind was made up (or brainwashed.)” I’m sorry I said that.

Maybe I could have said your mind was ‘firmly ingrained’. Would that have been better? Rankin wrote me that “my mind was firmly ingrained.” He didn’t hurt my feelings because he was right and I was sort of proud of it.

Once, a pastor told me, “The longer I’ve been out of the seminary, the more I realize that I was spoon fed.” I guess that can always be a danger if it’s man doing the feeding and not the Holy Spirit.

In your comment to Karen, you said, “I would not wish to be a part of an SBC that adopts extra biblical standards…(I.e. must be baptized in a Baptist Church, by a Baptist Pastor.)”
I’m on your side on this issue, but different by saying, ‘I would seek to change the SBC that…’

Back to the Trail of Blood and why you reject it. It seems to boil down to one word that Carroll used: “Congregational.”

Webster: “Congregation: An assembly of persons, especially one gathered for religious worship and instruction.”
“Congregational: 1. Of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a congregation. 2. Belonging to Congregationalism, or to Congregationalists.
“Congregationalism: 1. Church organization which vest all ecclesiastical power in the assembled brotherhood of each local church. 2. Faith and polity of a body of evangelical Trinitarian churches which recognize the brotherhood of each church as independent in ecclesiastical matters but which are united in fellowship and action.”
“Trinitarian: …the doctrine of the Trinity.”

If I read the words right, # 2 of “Congregationalism” fits the autonomy of Baptist churches in being united in fellowship and action with the SBC. How can this be hyper? The way I see it; compared to all the “hyper” stuff that’s been going on with Baptists, Carroll’s “Congregational” is laughable.

Again, I’m sorry.
Rex Ray