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

As a Fan of Christian Unity When Will the SBT Reconcile with the BGCT as It Did the BMA?

The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) and the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas (BMAT) have announced an historic agreement (see Southern Baptist Texan, Baptist Progress) bringing two groups of Texas Baptists together who have been separated denominationally for a century.

Dr. Bart Barber, a Texas pastor who also serves as a trustee and adjunct professor at Southwestern Theological Seminary, calls this announcement "progress toward good biblical unity." Dr. Barber also mentions that no "doctrine" is being compromised in the merge.

What do churches of the Baptist Missionary Association believe? Examining the doctrinal statement of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas, one notices that there are three short statements about God and creation, one statement about man's depravity, four statements about salvation, and SEVEN lengthy statements about the "true" church.

Google "Landmarkism" and "BMA" and you will have a supply of interesting reading material. I have written many articles on the infiltration of the tenets of Landmarkism into the Southern Baptist Convention. I have stated publicly that I don't mind at all cooperating with Landmarks in the Southern Baptist Convention, but most Landmarks would have a problem cooperating with many of our SBC churches. Why? Landmarks believe ...

(1). There is only one "true" church and it is the local Baptist church structured on proper polity.
(2). There is no legitimate baptism unless an "authorized" official from the "true" church baptizes.
(3). Gospel cooperation is attained only when "true" churches cooperate with each other in evangelism.
(4). Closed communion is a tenet of the New Testament and essential for proper church polity.
(5). There is no such thing as a "universal church." The local Baptist church of Christ is the true church.

Dr. Paige Patterson has served as a board member of BMA organizations and universities, and is sympathetic with Landmark beliefs. A prized first edition of Landmark founder J.A. Graves' tome The Great Iron Wheel sits on the coffee table in the Presidential mansion at Southwestern Theological Seminary.

Again, I commend the Southern Baptists of Texas for their step toward Christian unity by seeking reconciliation with the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas. My question is "When will the efforts toward Christian unity be extended toward the Baptist General Convention of Texas?"

One might answer my question by saying, "When the doctrine of the Baptist General Convention of Texas lines up with the doctrine of the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas and the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas, that's when."

If that indeed is the answer, then I suggest that the merging of the SBT and the BMA has nothing to do with Christian "unity" but the merging of two groups with similarly narrow and ultimately unbiblical ideological views of the local church. That's not "unity."
The Conservative Resurgence was said to have been about the inerrancy of the Bible, but the continuing fundamentalist domination within the SBC has led some to go far beyond the argument over the nature Scripture to only cooperating with those who agree on tertieary interpretations of Scripture. The SBT reconciling with the BMA and not the BGCT confirms what I've been writing for five years, but my hope is that the spirit of unity will extend toward the BGCT as well.

117 comments:

Josh from FL said...

"JR Graves" not "JA Graves"
;)
I wrote a paper on the Landmark movement while at SWBTS. I concluded that Landmarkism was a heresy. Though I made an A on the paper, I was advised/encouraged to not believe Landmark theology as heresy.

True story about JR Graves: The Landmark theology and Grave's feeling towards his church's pastor caused such an uproar that Sunday night services were reserved to put Graves on trial - a formal trial with witnesses, a jury, and everything! The end result: The church revoked his membership!
Interpret that however you wish.

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous,

Because “Truth and Grace” applies world wide.

Anonymous said...

Locally, a church hired a new pastor right off the seminary campus. He was nice and enjoyable for a couple of months then some teenagers made a profession of faith and wanted the youth minister to baptize them.

THE PASTOR SAID NO! THE YOUTH MINISTER IS NOT BIBLICALY QUALIFIED TO BAPTIZE THEM.

THE CHURCH FIRED THE PASTOR

AMEN!!

Wade Burleson said...

Josh, J.A. was a typo. Thanks for correcting it.

shadowspring said...

I live far afield from my native Oklahoma, and Wade's blog brings grace and truth to me, as well as helps me understand my own raisings. (Grandma would be so proud!)

I grew up at my grandma's First Baptist Church of small town, OK. I learned so many important truths that have been my mooring in rough seas of faith as an adult.

These most important truths -like the unity of the Trinity, and the centrality of Jesus Christ God Incarnate in all matters of doctrine and faith, the inclusion in the universal church of as many our Lord calls, regardless of whether they are members of the Baptist faith or not, the presence of the Holy Spirit in the new birth, and of course the importance of submersion baptism as an outward witness of an inward regeneration of a new creation in Christ Jesus- have kept me grounded in reality as the fundamentalist churches I have attended as an adult went off track.

All around me I saw a new gospel being taught, one of hierarchy, with a new emphasis on Old Testament scriptures and lording ot over power structures, new emphasis on submission/authority and the place of Jesus Messiah greatly diminished in Christian living and Bible interpretaion, if not in actual doctrinal statements. Now, with ESS, it has even hit the doctrinal statements.

I wondered: where is the faith delivered to me as a child still being taught, a faith centered of Jesus our Saviour from first to last?

The answer: Enid, OK.

Keep contending for the faith, Wade! This sister in Christ is greatly encouraged by your words and ministry, all the way over here on the East Coast. n_n

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I didn't know anything about the BMA (or that there was one) until this post. So I can't really comment on the BMA.

I am not a Landmarker by any stretch of the imagination. Nor do I agree with close or closed communion, and I do not have a problem with so-called "alien immersons."

I was surprised to find in reading the History of the Southern Baptist Seminary that the predominant view around the time of the SBC's founding was in favor of close or closed communion and against alien immersion, but Landmarkism was a minority opinion. In other words, there were lots of people who held to closed communion and opposed alien immersion, but equally opposed Landmarkers. That was the case, I believe, with the founders at Southern.

Open communion and not opposing alien immersions became the predominant opinions in the SBC in later years.

Landmarkism was always more popular in the "West" - West Tennessee, Arkansas, Miss, Texas etc.

I see Landmarkism as a truly minority view now.

As to the BGCT, I don't think that there will be a reconcilation anytime so.

The BGCT found its guts this year when it did something about a couple of churches over the homosexual issue. That was really surprising to many people.

Also, with Baylor completely independent from the BGCT, it may have taken some of the energy of opposing conservatives in the BGCT. Baylor's trustee board, I am told, is getting more conservative, not less. One well placed conservative told me a couple years ago that conservatives will eventually control Baylor. That is yet to be seen, but the trend is in place. The only key component not tackled yet is control over faculty hiring. The President and Trustees will have to take that on to make further changes. That may happen, but not soon. Probably not under President Starr.

Baptist politics are usually pretty simple to follow, but when you get to Texas, you have to throw out all the rules.

Louis

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks, Shadowspring.

Your signed comment and profile information adds significance to what you write.

Wade Burleson said...

Louis,

Texas Baptists have a deep heritage in Landmarkism, particularly in East Texas. Arkansas and portions of southeastern Oklahoma join our Christian brethren in holding to the tenets of Landmarkism.

Again, I have absolutely no problem coooperating with a Landmark. The problem is from them toward those who are not like them.

Cooperation necessitates differences. Landmarkism excludes differences and demands conformity before "cooperation" which makes no sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Respect. Haha! That's funny coming from this blog.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
The ‘split off convention’ (SBTC) will unite with the BGCT when the thinking of the SBTC changes that was expressed by their first president, Miles Seaborn (trustee of SWBTS):

“He would not give another nickel of his tithe to anywhere he thought was UNGODLY.”

And expressed by their first Executive Director, Jim Richards (former Vice President of the SBC):

“Theological agreement will be the first foundation of the new Convention. Those who depart theologically will be identified and called to repent. To the foes [BGCT?] of SBTC, we say, we’re not in competition with you, but we’ve been called to CONTRAST you.”

Their statements were recorded in the Baptist Standard 11-18-98.

Anonymous said...

Btw, Alex is the name. I am sure that will automatically bring respect.

John Wylie said...

The church I pastor is in the ABA, which is a cousin to the BMA, they split from one another in 1949. Landmarkism is a terrible error the details of which there is not enough room to write on here. I have been pastor here for almost 11years and it took me several years to teach landmarkism out of our church. We are still nominally affiliated with the ABA, the reason for this is that the church has been in the association since 1924.

Wade, I don't see a merger happening between the SBTC and the BGCT. In many people's minds, as bad as Landmarkism is, liberalism is worse. I believe you will eventually see the BGCT completely sever its relationship with the SBC. Further, I don't think any SBTC church is willing to merge with the BGCT as long as it rubs elbows with the CBF.

Anonymous said...

John makes an excellent point. The BGCT's relationship with the CBF is toxic in the minds of many Texas Baptists, even some still connected to the BGCT. I will say Randall Everett (BGCT Exec. Dir.) and Dr. Patterson have attempted to lay aside some previous animosity (much due to former E.D. Charles Wade) and establish a cordial relationship. However, until BGCT severs its ties to the CBF there will be no hint of reconciliation. Ultimately, the BGCT is a rapidly dying organization. Texas Baptist Committed is another group within the BGCT that, on their side, would have zero interest in a relationship with the SBTC. It simply ain't happening.
There does seem to be a movement to see the BGCT become a national movement to rival the SBC. Where that idea has any merit or hope of success is beyond me.

C.T.

Lydia said...

Respect. Haha! That's funny coming from this blog.

Wed Oct 13, 11:40:00 AM 2010

Wade, this anon is the classic model of a troll.

Trolls do not engage in content conversation. They are incapable. They only do drive by flames.

Anonymous said...

The SBTC is just as dangerous as the TBC but just on the other side of the road. A famous preacher once said that there is a ditch on either side of the road. Seems to be true here.

On the other hand, I'm not sure why anyone would want to reconcile with the BGCT since they can't even seem to figure out who they are. However, if I ever went into a church with those 5 beliefs you listed I would run away as fast as I could.

Interesting article but don't read too much into a big reconciliation going on in Texas. Its not going to happen among Southern Baptists anytime in the near future.

(I sign anonymously because I like to and not because I want you to respect me more. If that were so, you would be telling that to some of your blogger buddies.)

Bob Cleveland said...

Just as an observation from a pew, here: there are two commands in the Bible .. one is to BE baptized (as was told on the day of pentecost, and elsewhere), and one was TO baptize. One was for me, one was for the church.

Churches can baptize in error (non-believers) and we'd not consider it "valid" (witness: people being dunked a second time to "get it in the right order").

People can be baptized in error (because the other kids are, etc), and it's not really valid. But to claim that a person who was baptized for the right reason didn't receive a "valid baptism" because of what was in the mind of the person doing the dunking is ludicrous.

Maybe a better word is "ecclesiolatry".

Ron said...

Wade,
You said Dr. Bart Barber, a Texas pastor who also serves as a trustee and adjunct professor at Southwestern Theological Seminary, calls this announcement "progress toward good biblical unity." Dr. Barber also mentions that no "doctrine" is being compromised in the merge.

You correctly listed one of their basic landmark beliefs as, “There is no such thing as a "universal church." The local Baptist church of Christ is the true church.” However in the 2000 BFM Article VI on the Church we state that in addition to the local church “The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue and people, and nation. In other words, the “universal church.”

Barber seems to advocate unity and closer alignment with a denomination that is in disagreement with the BFM 2000. How can he say no doctrine is being compromised? It looks to me like this is the beginning of a slide down the slippery slope of doctrinal compromise for political purposes by the SBTC.

I have friends who are BMA and we in Arkansas are well aware of their doctrine and their history of attacks on the SBC. There will be no compromise of their landmark beliefs from their side. If the SBTC wants to join with the BMA, the compromise will all be on their part.

Part of their reason for the BMA breaking away from the SBC was their objection to the Foreign Mission Board of the SBC. Will the SBCT move away from their support for the IMB in order to continue their unity?

Ron West

Darrell said...

Brother John Wylie said:

"Landmarkism is a terrible error the details of which there is not enough room to write on here. I have been pastor here for almost 11years and it took me several years to teach landmarkism out of our church"

Yessir.

I was raised in a rabid Landmark church.


Since then, I have tried to break out of that trap all my life.

I have come to believe there is such a thing called "a liberal fundalmentalist" and a "fundalmentalist liberal".

i believe that patterson and his ilk are liberal fundalmentalist. they really don't care what the bible says as long as the interpretation suits their power pursuits and the other side is the same way.

it is a liberation of interpretation, both left and right that causes the splits.

both are fundys and both are liberal, meaning they take a lot of licsense with interpretation

mostly all good Biblical conservatives are between the 2, meaning they are not seeking power, and are trying to get it right without agenda,or power driven, theological politics and arrogance

in other words

living in real GRACE AND TRUTH

grace
darrel

John Wylie said...

Ron,

I've been serving around BMA and ABA preachers for the last 11 years, and I will tell you that a number of the young pastors do believe in a universal church and there is a great move away from landmarkism among them. As a matter of fact several young preachers from these groups that I have known are now pastors of SBC churches.

I want to make this clear, I hate Landmarkism because it is nothing more than spiritual elitism, however, it is nowhere near as dangerous as liberalism. Just as Landmarkism has perverted the doctrine of the church, liberalism has perverted the doctrine of the priesthood of the believer. As an example at least the BMA does not debate over homosexuality, biblical inerrancy, etc... The BMA is changing and that is evidenced by the fact that they are now willing to partner with churches that do believe in the universal church and open communion.

Wade Burleson said...

John,

That's great to hear. Thanks.

It reminds me that there are many evangelicals in Roman Catholicism despite "official" doctrine.

Rex Ray said...

John Wylie,
Here I was ready to ‘bury the hatchet’ on a previous post, but it’s starting all over again.

On the present situation, I disagree with the saying, “You can fool all the people some of the time…”

because Virginia, and Texas were not fooled by the ‘takeover’ by fundamentalist in getting ‘THEIR’ people elected in State Conventions.

In those two States, fundamentalists had to start their own Conventions. To get churches to join their conventions, they had to ‘badmouth’ the old conventions. I believe it was like the statement:

“If you can’t think of anything, make something up.”

The SBTC news journal, Plumbline October 1998; with no proof; stated:


1. Deny deity of Christ, need for His death, importance f the virgin birth.
2. Called for the ordination of gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons.
3. Proclaim the Bible does not condemn all forms of homosexual behavior.
4. Refer to God as “mother”.
5.Defended the reproduction and distribution of child pornography.

Four months later, the BGCT formed a committee to respond to such allegations. One board member said, “Enough is enough!”

A letter in the Baptist Standard said, “How can we show love for our Christian brothers by Moderates telling Conservatives, “I’m sorry my nose got blood on your fist” when they’re really thinking: “Enough is enough!?”

John, I agree liberalism is bad, but to call someone liberal because they don’t agree with legalism is worse, so why don’t you stop the REAL LIBERALS that have created legalistic rules like you gotta pray a certain way, be baptized in a Southern Baptist Church, and bow to their paper god? (“The BFM 2000 is our doctrinal guideline.”)

Legalism does not trust the Holy Spirit to control Christians without adding their two cents like building walls to keep sin out while making prisoners within.


Ron West,
Good points.

Wade Burleson said...

Ron,

Insightful point.

It would be interesting to see if any SBT leadership comments on the departure of their Convention from the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 statement regarding the universal church.

Of course, I would not advocate the SBT be tossed from the Southern Baptist Convention for disagreeing with the BFM. One does wonder, though about the lack of consistency in the SBT. "Toss those who disagree with the BFM!" and then, as you point out, they themselves begin disagreeing with the BFM.


:)

John Wylie said...

Wade,

The only problem with the logic here is that SBTC doesn't
"disagree" with BFM 2000. The SBTC has been perhaps the most ardent supporter of the BFM. The SBTC does believe in the universal church. Neither is this a merger of the two denominations, this is simply a cooperation agreement. This agreement does not make BMAT churches SBTC churches. It simply says that they have a "ministry working relationship".

Wade Burleson said...

John,

What would prevent a "ministry working relationship" between the SBTC and the BGCT?

Wade Burleson said...

Lydia,

I agree with your comment about the troll. Thanks for your insight.

Christiane said...

Hi REX RAY,

when I saw this:

"Rex Ray said...

Anonymous,

Because “Truth and Grace” applies world wide."

in response to this:

"Anonymous said...

Wade,
Why don't you stay in Oklahoma and leave Texas to Texans.

Wed Oct 13, 10:16:00 AM 2010"

I thought there it is: you can see the two attitudes in a nutshell: one is isolationist and the other is Christian.

All I can say is that I am one Catholic grand-daughter
(of a Southern Baptist grandmother)
who rejoices that 'Grace and Truth to You' was there to be a reassuring witness that her grandmother's Church had NOT become 'like the Westboro Baptist Church' seen on television protesting at soldier's funerals.

John Wylie said...

Wade,

Probably because the doctrinal divide is too deep between the two groups. To many in the SBTC, their deagreements with the BMA would be over secondary issues while their disagreements with BGCT are over primary or essential issues. For instance, several of the BGCT leaders have stated they don't believe in inerrancy, to many conservative Baptists that is an essential doctine. They don't want to rub elbows with those who espouse open theism, or those who teach that Allah and the God of Abraham are the same God.

If there is an agreement between the SBTC and the BMAT it's not because the SBTC is moving toward Landmarkism it's because the BMA is changing. I was talking to a young BMA pastor, a student at BMA Theological Seminary in Jacksonville, TX, who didn't even know the BMA doesn't believe in the universal church. He was shocked when I brought it up. Now this young man is not uneducated or unintelligent, and that was the first time he had even heard of Landmarkism. My point? It is either not being pushed at BMA Seminary or it's being taught in a more subtle way. I don't know which.

Anonymous said...

"i believe that patterson and his ilk are liberal fundalmentalist. they really don't care what the bible says as long as the interpretation suits their power pursuits and the other side is the same way." Darrell


"As Paige Patterson once said about abortion, amazed at the traction he and Pressler were gettin in his SBC Takeover crusade: “This oughta go over as good as the Inerrancy Thing!!!!!” Tom Henry, SBC Voices

Rex Ray said...

John Wylie,
Here I was ready to ‘bury the hatchet’ on a previous post, but it’s starting all over again.

On the present situation, I disagree with the saying, “You can fool all the people some of the time…” because Virginia, and Texas were not fooled by the ‘takeover’ by fundamentalist in getting ‘THEIR’ people elected in State Conventions.

In those two States, fundamentalists had to start their own Conventions. To get churches to join their conventions, they had to ‘badmouth’ the old conventions. I believe it was like the statement:

“If you can’t think of anything, make something up.”

The SBTC news journal, Plumbline October 1998; with no proof; stated:


1. Deny deity of Christ, need for His death, importance f the virgin birth.
2. Called for the ordination of gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons.
3. Proclaim the Bible does not condemn all forms of homosexual behavior.
4. Refer to God as “mother”.
5.Defended the reproduction and distribution of child pornography.

Four months later, the BGCT formed a committee to respond to such allegations. One board member said, “Enough is enough!”

A letter in the Baptist Standard said, “How can we show love for our Christian brothers by Moderates telling Conservatives, “I’m sorry my nose got blood on your fist” when they’re really thinking: “Enough is enough!?”

John, I agree liberalism is bad, but to call someone liberal because they don’t agree with legalism is worse, so why don’t you stop the REAL LIBERALS that have created legalistic rules like you gotta pray a certain way, be baptized in a Southern Baptist Church, and bow to their paper god? (“The BFM 2000 is our doctrinal guideline.”)

In my opinion, when anything has priority over the Bible in being our guideline the “anything’ was made by the egos of man.

John, which should be our guideline, the BFM or the Bible?

Instead of answering the question, I can imagine your ‘wiggle-wiggle’ already.

Legalism does not trust the Holy Spirit to control Christians without adding their two cents like building walls to keep sin out while making prisoners within.


Ron West,
Good points.

Christiane,
Great minds run in the same channel. :)

John Wylie said...

Rex,

As far as "burying the hatchet" goes, is the only way we are going to do that is by agreeing? I told you that I don't think you're a coward, I'm not trying to disrespect you, we just disagree on this subject.

To answer your question, I believe the Bible is our authoritative source. My above statement was simply that the SBTC didn't disagree with the BFM. Wade asked me what would prevent a "ministry working relationship" between the SBTC and the BGCT? I simply stated that the doctrinal divide is too deep. In that particular statement I said nothing about the BFM 2000, I brought up inerrancy and other issues that would stand in the way of any agreement.

Rex, I have nothing personal against you. You and I simply disagree on some of these issues.

Bob L. Ross said...

Dear Brother Burleson:

You said in your book on HARDBALL RELIGION that I gave an "excellent overview" of Landmarkism in my book OLD LANDMARKISM AND THE BAPTISTS. I pointed out in that book that there are two organized groups which derive from the Landmark movement:

(1) American Baptist Association with offices in Texarkana, and --

(2 Baptist Missionary Association with offices in Little Rock.

I have observed that the ABA has been more strict or "sectarian" while many in the BMA developed a less stringent application of Landmarkism. I have even been a guest speaker at an BMA college.

I think the answer to your question about the BGCT primarily involves the matter of how far current and future BGCT leaders adhere to the views expressed in the late millionaire John Baugh's book, THE BATTLE FOR BAPTIST INTEGRITY, and the views expressed in the TEXAS BAPTISTS COMMITTED newsletter edited by David Currie. This combine once ruled the roost in the BGCT. I can't imagine the BGCT would even be interested in reconcilation if those views are perpetuated by BGCT leaders.

Mr. Baugh is deceased, as is Herbert Reynolds, who greatly influenced the wealthy Mr. Baugh's thinking, and David Currie has apparently lost a great deal of his impact on the BGCT via the TBC newsletter. Furthermore, the BGCT has been losing ground in many areas, especially in the financial category. If the BGCT leaders could see their way clear to put the Baugh-Reynolds-Currie
attitudes behind them, it might be conducive to a future collaroration with the SBTC and the SBC as a whole. -- Bob L. Ross

Wade Burleson said...

Bob,

Some interesting insights.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't someone just suggest that the leaders of the BGCT and the SBTC sit down together and discuss what it would take them to get back together and quit this infighting?

Oh wait, that's already been done and it didn't work back then and it ain't gonna work now.

BTW, the issue has nothing to do with inerrancy but with power and money.

Anonymous said...

David Currie no longer runs the TBC. He is out of the picture.

Rex,
The BGCT is most certainly liberal and growing more and more liberal by the day.

C.T.

Jack Maddox said...

annon 05:22

You have absolutely no clue to which you speak...absolutely none

Anonymous said...

(1) The SBTC clearly opposes women pastors. The BGCT supports them.

(2) The SBTC believes that men should be the leaders in homes and that wives should submit to their husbands. A BGCT President said that this view was "Neanderthal."

(3) The SBTC clearly believes in biblical inerrancy. The BGCT doesn't. In fact, the "Theologian-in-Residence" of the BGCT has written many articles against inerrancy.

(4) The SBTC clearly opposes seminaries hiring professors who deny substitutionary atonement. The BGCT doesn't (it thinks that the SBC seminaries made a mistake in firing such professors).

(5) The SBTC clearly opposes seminaries hiring professors who are soteriological inclusivists. Again, the BGCT says that the SBC made a mistake when it fired such professors.

(6) The SBTC strongly supports the SBC and sends 51% of Cooperative Program Money to the SBC. The BGCT sends only 28% of CP money to the SBC and allows money designated to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship to count as CP Giving.

(7) The SBTC clearly opposes homosexuality as sinful. The BGCT is controlled by Texas Baptists Committed, which is already starting to waver on the issue: http://texasbaptistscommitted.blogspot.com/2010/09/which-beliefs-are-baptist-dealbreakers.html

John Wylie said...

Rex,

I just read your comment at the other blog post. I want you to know I never ever meant to come accross in a disrespectful way to you. I know these things are personal for you since it impacted you and your kinfolks who have served as missionaries.

Brother, how do we find middle ground on this? What expectations doctrinally should a convention or more importantly churches have of their missionaries, seminary, and university professors? I sincerely want to know. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but it is safe to assume that the conservatives would want some boundaries and assurances. Everyone has a right to vote with their feet. That's what the SBTC has done as far as the BGCT is concerned, and that's what the CBF has done as far as the SBC is concerned.

You and I disagree, but please don't take this as a personal attack it is not meant that way.

Anonymous said...

Jack Maddox,

I have every clue to which I speak. I was there when it happened and it happened at Love Field in Dallas, Texas.

Perhaps you need to figure out your clues a little better before you accuse someone of something.

Anonymous said...

Jack Maddox,

I have every clue to which I speak. I was there when it happened and it happened at Love Field in Dallas, Texas.

Perhaps you need to figure out your clues a little better before you accuse someone of something.

Anonymous said...

Wade, when will you stop the criticism? When will you realize that you have lost all influence that you had? Grace and Truth is the biggest misconception of this blog. There is rarely grace extended on this site and the truth is often masked in non factial information. This is really a matter that Wade or any other of us who aren't in Texas should be worried about. You cant save the sbc, only drive a deeper wedge in it. My hope is that at some point you will realize that God has blessed you with a great church to pastor and stop trying to police all things sbc. Im sure your a great guy, you just always have a negative tone to your chip on your shoulder. All that being said, I do respect your courage, I just wished you would put all that courage and energy into something thats positive for the Kingdom.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

I'll stop asking questions when they are no longer needed to be asked!

Kevin M. Crowder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...

Wade,
Good reply.

As Bob Cleveland would say, “It’s the bit dog that hollers.”

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

A signed agreement is hardly unity in the body. Both groups stand to gain financially from the agreement. That is not to say that leaders in both groups are not genuinely interested in greater cooperation. The BMA, like the SBC has a variety of churches with a variety of pastors. They are autonomous churches with autonomous associations. This seems to be a good fit in all honesty for both groups. They are both cut from the John R. Rice cloth, and together can effectively share the Gospel to many. I think even from your comment stream it can be seen that the BGCT is in a state of transition and has yet to determine an ultimate course of direction. The other two groups are quite clear where they stand on a host of issues, and while I do not agree with many of their theological points of view, I do know that it is better to work in the Kingdom with men and women of like minds.

This is good "merger."

I grew up in a BMA church for 18 years before becoming a Southern Baptist. I can tell you that Landmarkism in it's truest sense, kills the Spirit. But I have many friends in MBA churches that have not a clue about their church's doctrinal underpinnings. They love Christ, old hymns, and that "old time religion."

I guess I wonder why this is such a big deal to you? The same thing is coming down the pike in Missouri, for those who have not been watching. The SBC as we know it has changed.

The thing to watch however is how the neo-Landmarkists/Arminianists and the lords of Louisville/Calvinists square off in the years to come. Suffice to say, the CP and SWBTS/MBTS will be going with the former, and "GCG" and SBTS/SEBTS will go with the latter. The rest of the chips are up for grabs.

Jack Maddox said...

Well annon, no you don't. For you to insinuate that it was all about power and moneys is well...just stupid! The SBTC is a convention of 'churches'. I was at the constitutional convention, signed the formulating docs - was that about power and money? What power? What money? The first SBTC office was run out of a den in someones home for goodness sakes. They today run on a budget thats more of a shoestring than anything. I just ordered material from them and they charged me half the price listed on their order form...and I am not even in the state of Texas...my church does not contribute or is it a member of the SBTC. Your accusation is found-less, baseless and asinine. You are either a bitter moderate or a disgruntled conservative who feels like he/she did not get a place at the table...and the problem is there was no place to be given

Anonymous said...

I am--and everyone I ever have attended church with for almost 50 years is--BGCT. There isn't a theological liberal or moderate person among the whole bunch of us--though there are very many politically moderate ones, meaning: you stand before God alone as Judge of you/your beliefs/your practices. Each of us will try to "disciple" you out of theological error, but none of us will force you--as would all Fundamentalists (as in the SBTC, BMA, Missouri Baptist Convention--on whose trustee board I sat when it went Fundamentalist and split in 2001, etc.)--to do so.

The BGCT will merge with the SBTC when the SBTC's politics change, but not until then. The parting of ways was political, not theological; the merger--if it ever occurs--will be the same. Until then, the BGCT is the only Baptist group in Texas which rightfully can claim still to stand for HISTORIC Baptist principles (here: http://www.bgct.org/texasbaptists/Page.aspx?pid=5947), and to stand up to the SBC's movement away from those principles despite whatever others have said. To say otherwise is to be talking about me, my parents, my siblings, the congregation I currently serve, and the others I mention above, not about an "organization."

Anonymous said...

Here are some examples of how the BGCT spends Cooperative Program money:

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=24299

http://spiritualsamurai2.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/a-little-history-and-buckner-update/

http://spiritualsamurai2.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/breaking-the-bgct-salary-code/

A typical example of the kind of theology taught in a BGCT seminary:

http://www.rogereolson.com/2010/09/07/protestant-purgatory/

Anonymous said...

"(6) The SBTC strongly supports the SBC and sends 51% of Cooperative Program Money to the SBC. The BGCT sends only 28% of CP money to the SBC and allows money designated to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship to count as CP Giving."

The community I live in experienced major flooding a couple of summers again--and then again the very next summer. Hundreds of lives were affected, as homes were in/under water literally. Because the BGCT--its messengers like myself--have chosen to keep a growing proportion of CP dollars in Texas to minister to a growing number of Texans, the BGCT was able to provide hundreds/thousands of dollars directly to flood victims in our town, some of them in my church. Our DOM checked with the SBTC about any similar assistance it might offer, as well--that convention's reply, "Sorry--no such assistance!"

The BGCT: relevant ministry in the State of Texas; the SBTC: irrelevant ministry in the State of Texas. Ask the residents of this town.

Anonymous said...

An example of the kind of theology the BGCT supports:

http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?id=6548

Anonymous said...

"Why doesn't someone just suggest that the leaders of the BGCT and the SBTC sit down together and discuss what it would take them to get back together and quit this infighting?"

I did this very thing in 1997, but the split was on. My exact suggestion was, ". . . There's highway in great shape for traveling to a central meeting place, or good airports to fly in and out of, a popular restaurants or adequate church fellowship halls to sit down inside of to talk this thing through--so somebody make it happen . . ." Again, by that time, the split was on. It was politics.

Anonymous said...

There are something like 7,000 Southern Baptist churches in Texas. The SBTC sends 51% on to the SBC because its highest priority is international missions - reaching the nations for Jesus Christ. In contrast, the BGCT selfishly keeps 72% of CP in Texas in order to pay for huge salaries for its executives.

Anonymous said...

wait, who is paying the huge salaries of the SBC grand poobahs

Anonymous said...

Jack,

So you were at the SBTC constitutional convention and signed the formulating documents. Good for you but you missed everything that happened before then. Sorry but I did have a place at the table and watched the spectacle and saw the politics that went into the formation of the SBTC. The bottom line is that the only reason that convention exists is because Miles Seaborn could not stand Russell Dilday and wanted to get even with him.

If you think its not about power and money just look at the money that the SBTC has today. It explains my point quite well. You also missed the meetings where we had to pull Miles Seaborn back off a table when he was screaming at Russell Dilday. Sorry you missed the show and only got to sign some pathetic documents.

Anonymous said...

The SBTC is basically a funnel for money to the SBC to enhance the giving records of big churches in Texas. Check on how much Prestonwood Baptist funnels through Texas to Nashville. It has nothing to do with inerrancy.

Anonymous said...

You can throw out inerrancy as the reason for the divorce between the BGCT and the SBTC. When the big moment came it was because the conservatives controlled the SBC and the moderates controlled the BGCT and neither side wanted to give an inch. As in a normal divorce, there are two sides to each issue. Its just sad that the two sides couldn't have found a way to keep the marriage together and not hurt the children like they have done. Both parties need to be ashamed of what they did back then.

Ben Stratton said...

This reconciliation has taken place because both groups have moved.

1. The BMA is not as landmark as they were 40 or even 20 years ago. Anyone familiar with associational Baptists will tell you the BMA has never been as strongly landmark as the ABA. While there are still some strong landmark BMA pastors and churches, most BMA pastors are only mildly landmark (if at all).

2. The SBTC is returning to its historical roots with regard to Baptist doctrine and distinctives. The SBTC is conservative in their beliefs on social issues and the inspiration of the Bible. The SBTC is also returning to the historic Baptist (and I believe Biblical) view of restricted communion and Scriptural baptism (as opposed to alien immersion).

In other words, neither groups has totally changed positions, but they have moved closer to each other in the middle.

Anonymous said...

"There are something like 7,000 Southern Baptist churches in Texas. The SBTC sends 51% on to the SBC because its highest priority is international missions - reaching the nations for Jesus Christ. In contrast, the BGCT selfishly keeps 72% of CP in Texas in order to pay for huge salaries for its executives.

Thu Oct 14, 12:02:00 AM 2010"


Anon 12:02, again: ask the residents of my town. Relevant, and ministry: BGCT; irrelevant, and no ministry--none even offered that I heard of in response to the flooding mentioned: SBTC--unless, of course, SOMEHOW, a few dollars of those "many" dollars can be gotten back into the state via NAMB or etc . . . Not likely.

BGCT: hands-down more relevant.

http://www.bgct.org/texasbaptists/Page.aspx?pid=5947

Anonymous said...

Ben:

"SBTC . . . historic roots . . . communion . . . baptism"

BAHAHAHAHAHA! Funny man.


http://www.amazon.com/Baptist-Heritage-H-Leon-McBeth/dp/0805465693

John Wylie said...

While I don't like Anon 12:43's bed side manner, he's right, Landmarkism was never the historic Baptist position. Believer's baptism not Baptist Baptism is what Baptist's have held through the centuries. Landmarkism had it's roots in 1840's Kenntucky. Before that Baptists always believed in the universal church. See the 1689 2nd London Confession of Faith and the 1742 Philadelphia Confession of Faith. Even closed communion was defined differently then, it had to do with not allowing unbaptized Christians to participate not non church members.

If there is any agreement at all between the BMA and SBTC it's because the BMA is loosening up on Landmarkism.

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous Wed Oct 13, 08:34:00 PM,

Jack Maddox has been in ‘hot water’ before where he has withdrawn to “No talkie-talkie.”

He is like several that make statements with no reference or proof such as:

“Respect. Ha Ha! That’s funny coming from this blog.”

“The BGCT is a rapidly dying organization.”

“The BGCT is most certainly liberal and growing more and more liberal by the day.”


Probably more than me would be interested in what happened at Love Field.


Anonymous Thu Oct 14, 12:02:00 AM,
You said,

“The BGCT selfishly keeps 72% of CP in Texas in order to pay for huge salaries for its executives.”

This link tells were the money goes and the BGCT stand against homosexuality.

http://storage.cloversites.com/firstbaptistchurch20/documents/BGCT-SBTC%20differencesJRedit%209-2009.pdf

Rex Ray said...

John,
You wrote: “To answer your question, I believe the Bible is our authoritative source.”

Let’s see – the question was:

“John, which should be our guideline, the BFM or the Bible?”

I didn’t see which should be our “guideline” in your answer.

Michael Gormley said...

Fundamentalist or Catholic?

At times Fundamentalists talk as if they thought no case could be made for the Catholic faith. That’s understandable.

After all, if you’re a Fundamentalist instead of a Catholic, it is because you do not believe that Catholicism is true. You reject it because you think it is false.

But make sure what you’re rejecting is Catholicism, not merely a caricature of it. If you think Catholics worship Mary, pray to statues, and claim the pope is equal to God, then you aren’t rejecting Catholicism, but someone’s misrepresentation of it.

You deserve to have the facts before you make up your mind. This tract, which is just an overview, states a brief case for Catholicism in a few important areas.

Christian History

Christ established one Church with one set of beliefs (Ephesians 4:4–5). He did not establish numerous churches with contradictory beliefs.

To see which is the true Church, we must look for the one that has an unbroken historical link to the Church of the New Testament.

Catholics are able to show such a link. They trace their leaders, the bishops, back through time, bishop by bishop, all the way to the apostles, and they show that the pope is the lineal successor to Peter, who was the first bishop of Rome.

The same thing is true of Catholic beliefs and practices. Take any one you wish, and you can trace it back. This is just what John Henry Newman did in his book An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine

MORE > > >

Bryan Riley said...

Unity among all followers of Christ in the Kingdom of God is what is needed. All who believe in God's grace extended through the work of Jesus at the Cross can stand on that grace united and proclaim it by their love for God, one another, and for others. It's easy to divide when we talk about things other than Christ and Christ crucified; I'm glad that is what Paul preached.

RRR said...

Wade,

I’m sorry, but I don’t find basis for your argument in the “doctrinal statement of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas” document as linked to your post. Maybe you can help me by directing me to the specific paragraphs in their statement to which you refer.

For instance, I see no reference in that doctrinal statement saying “There is only one "true" church and it is the local Baptist church structured on proper polity.” Could you point out to me where that is said in this document, please?

Or

“Closed communion is a tenet of the New Testament and essential for proper church polity.” Are you suggesting that the BMA only allows communion in “Baptist” churches. Could you also point out where that is written in this document? I don’t see where that is written in this statement.

Or

“There is no such thing as a "universal church." The local Baptist church of Christ is the true church.” I don’t see this in the document either. Sorry if I’m slow, but where is it?

As to the statement to which you include in your list of 7: “There is no legitimate baptism unless an "authorized" official from the "true" church baptizes.”; I wouldn’t have a problem with this statement as “I” define it.

I would define any baptized believer as being an “authorized official from the true church” so therefore I don't know why anyone would have a problem with it.

And finally, you seem to be saying that their statement says; “There is no such thing as a "universal church." The local Baptist church of Christ is the true church.”

Again, that statement is not apparent to me. Where exactly is it stated?

I’m not sure if you are saying that these 7 items are typical of Landmarkism or if you’re saying that these are written in the BMA’s doctrinal statement.

If you’re NOT saying that they are in the doctrinal statement your post gives the impression that they are. If you ARE saying that they are written in the doctrinal statement, please help me by giving some guidance.

Thanks a lot for your help on clarifying this.

Anonymous said...

One could ask if the BGCT will reconcile with the BMA.

Anonymous said...

"One could ask if the BGCT will reconcile with the BMA."

There is some bad blood there. The founder of the BMA, S. A. Hayden, and the editor of the BGCT newspaper, The Baptist Standard, J. B. Cranfill, saw each other on a train in 1904 and both pulled out guns and started shooting at each other!

Anonymous said...

The SBTC should get along well with the BMA since they are basically the same thing but with different names. Same old legalism but in a different package. They can sit around and agree on inerrancy while they gossip about their friends.

Rex Ray said...

John,
Your comment of Wed Oct 13, 7:14 PM was nice. I know you mean no disrespect of me, and I’d like to say the same in reply to you.

Ah, to find a “middle ground” is the hard part. I think we should start at the beginning. My old Webster’s dictionary of 1949 says this about Fundamentalism:

“A recent movement in American Protestantism re-emphasizing as fundamental to Christianity belief in the inerrancy of the Scriptures…”

Early in the 1900s, atheists started saying God did not exist because the Bible was not perfect.

Fundamentalists were sucked into a trap by using the SAME illogical reasoning that God existed because the Bible WAS perfect.

God exist because “I AM”. He does not exist because the ‘messenger’ is perfect. When people start viewing the Bible as ‘perfect’ or ‘inerrant’ there is a danger of worshiping the messenger. “No other gods” includes the Bible.

Man has always wanted to ‘see’ God…something physical. That’s why the ‘Battle for the Bible’ was appealing. It became a battle cry to gain power and control. ‘Inerrancy’ became a political code word for acceptance among Fundamentalists or I could say Patterson Inc.

As they say ‘the proof’s in the pudding’, if C/R was the answer, why has the SBC/SWBTS declined? I rest my case.

P.S.
I hope Hayden and Cranfill’s aim was as bad as their tempers.

John Wylie said...

RRR,

Here are some examples from the BMAT doctrinal statement:

On the nature of the Church:
"A New Testament Church is a local congregation (Acts 16:5; 1 Cor. 4:17) of baptized believers in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:41) who are united by covenant in belief of what God has revealed and in obedience to what He has commanded (Acts 2:41-42)." Notice it defines the church as a local congregation.

On Communion:
"Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer as a confession of his faith in Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19; Rom. 6:4) and is prerequisite to church membership and participation in the Lord’s Supper" It says that one must be baptized to be a church member and it ties church membership to qualification to participate in communion.

Wade's description of the BMA was correct in general. On an official level the BMA denies the universal church and espouses closed communion. But, as I said earlier, many in the BMA don't believe these things. And as a couple of people have commented the BMA has never been as staunchly Landmark as their ABA cousins.

Ben Stratton said...

John Wylie,

You wrote: "Believer's baptism not Baptist Baptism is what Baptist's have held through the centuries."

In 1915 F.C. McConnell, Secretary of State Missions in Texas said: "The churches of Texas are practically unanimous in rejecting alien immersion. I do not suppose ten churches in 3,600 would even consider receiving a person with such immersion." I'd say that defines what the historic practice was in Texas. Also I can fill up several pages with quotes from pre-J.R. Graves Baptists showing how Baptist churches rejected alien (non-Baptist) immersion.

You also wrote: "Even closed communion was defined differently then, it had to do with not allowing unbaptized Christians to participate not non church members."

Check out R.B.C. Howell's 1846 book on the "Terms of Communion." Howell says he did not know of a SINGLE Baptist church in the south that practiced open communion. Also this had to do with more than just "unbaptized Christians" for these old Baptists would not allow former Baptists who had joined Methodists, Presbyterian, etc. churches to partake of the Lord's Supper.

In my original post I said the SBTC was returning to its roots on the ordinances. This can be seen in the IMB position on baptism and the fact that you now have denominational leaders who reject open communion. (That was very rare 20 years ago.) This was my point.

However I also reject your statement that landmarkism is not historic Baptist doctrine. What did the old Baptists believe about Baptist perpetuity and the Trail of Blood? What did the old Baptists believe about 1 Corinthians 12:13. Study it out. I think you will be surprised at your finding.

Anonymous said...

Nobody was hurt during the Hayden and Cranfill gunfight.

If you look up the story on Google, you can actually find a PDF of the original New York Times story from May 13, 1904. The article noted that Hayden and Cranfill were the best-known Baptist preachers in Texas, if not the South. Hayden was the leader of the Landmarkist faction that split off from the BGCT and became the BMA. Hayden was editor of a rival Baptist newsletter to the Baptist Standard, which Cranfill edited.

Both men were traveling to the SBC Annual Meeting when they saw each other in the lavatory and started shooting at each other!

Anonymous said...

THose of you arguing the the BGCT is relevant are a joke. It is far from relevant. It is a convention in turmoil that doesn't know who it is or where it's going. Some of you talk about the SBTC being controlled by a small few. Take a look at the BGCT. It's called Texas Baptist Committed. They are driving churches away. The BGCT is far from relevant. They are an old and dying convention becoming more liberal each day. Had David Lowrie not been elected President over the last couple of years things would be much worse. He stopped the bleeding for a time. Unfortunately, his time is up.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10:30 a.m. is correct. Most BGCT churches and church members are conservative, but the convention itself is controlled by Texas Baptists Committed, an organization comprised of the most liberal Baptists in the state, almost all of whom despise the SBC and want the BGCT to severe all ties with the SBC and affiliate exclusively with the CBF. A lot of BGCT churches have voted with their feet, as around 2,000 have affiliated dually or exclusively with the SBTC, and with their pocketbooks, as BGCT Cooperative Program giving is about half of what it was 12 years ago.

Since Texas Baptist Committed predetermines what happens at BGCT Annual Meetings, fewer and fewer people are going to them, with attendance declining from 6,713 in 2000 to 1,493 last year.

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/baptist/bgctconvlist.html

Alan Paul said...

Jesus never had a mansion. Why does PP get one? Reminded me of this: http://www.kidbrothers.net/tjr.html#ydnhah

or this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_P8n6eysZ0&feature=related

Bennett Willis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bennett Willis said...

It is fairly obvious why BGCT "only" sends 28% to Nashville--the money that went to the SBC moved to SBTC and BGCT was left with the "legacy" programs. There was not a lot of the BGCT budget that migrated to the SBTC.

What I have never understood is why the SBTC (an organization that should have few fixed expenses and "a shoestring budget")can only send 51% to the SBC. It seems that they really could be a post office box and a couple of bookkeepers and send about 90% to Nashville.

I guess they created their own overhead.

Robert said...

Alan Paul
Jesus never had a wife! Why does AP need one or anyone for that matter?

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

Anonymous said...

"It is fairly obvious why BGCT 'only' sends 28% to Nashville--the money that went to the SBC moved to SBTC and BGCT was left with the 'legacy' programs. There was not a lot of the BGCT budget that migrated to the SBTC."

At least one of these "legacy" programs, Buckner, refused an SBTC offer for a fraternal relationship (I think that I remember the River Ministry doing the same thing, but I can't find any proof of that yet) In contrast, Texas Baptist Men did accept a fraternal relationship with the SBTC, and they cooperate with both state conventions.

If "legacy" ministries like Buckner need more money from the BGCT, it is their own fault because they rejected SBTC money. Of course, the Buckner leadership was doing exactly what BGCT leadership wanted it to do.

Morris Brooks said...

Wade,

The same arrow should be pointed at the BGCT. They have no interest in reconciling with the SBTC.

John H said...

I know this is supposed to be a serious discussion, and that it is a legitimate theological term, but I just have so much trouble talking seriously about "alien immersion."

I'm just picturing trying to get Chewbacca under the water. Or Spock coming up and saying "Live long and prosper."

Sorry guys.

On topic: it takes both doctrinal agreement and emotional will to align groups. I think in Texas you've got a lot of emotional won't between BGCT and SBTC. So, whether you find those common ground places in Scripture and determine they are enough or not, it will be at least 3 generations to to reconcile: the current ones had the split, and won't get over it; their immediate successors will build their reputations on fidelity to the split sides, and will entrench deeper; the third generation will realize that they are simply hurting their ability to obey the Great Commission and reconcile.

Apart from revival that is caused by the moving of the Spirit, you're not likely to see reconciliation any sooner. And probably, the disobedience and hard-heartedness that builds disunity is what delays the revival.

John H

Anonymous said...

As to legacy ministries refusing money from SBTC, how much control was to be handed over for it? How many trustee seats?

It's not just refusing the relationship, it's a matter of the balance. When SBTC started, they left the legacy compassion and care ministries and said, by action, that they were not going to support those ministries. Then, they come back and offer to help, but at what cost? And would those ministries have been secure in their funding, or would they be at risk of getting cut off, especially if they kept taking BGCT money and trustees as well?

Anonymous said...

This proves my point! You guys are having this huge debate with false facts!!! The SBTC gives 55% to the SBC. That is absolutely terrific if you ask me! Thats why I said earlier that this blog is usually entirely based upon inaccurate facts masked by a hot issue. For the record, again Wade, I'm sure that your a great guy...but to let nonsense like this debate go on in the name of "reform" is not only weak, but is a real waste of time. I believe that debate in this format is great, just know the real facts before you plaster something online. Come on Wade you are an intelligent guy I would certainly think you of all people would understand this!

Anonymous said...

By the way, I wish all of our state conventions would follow their lead!

Anonymous said...

Another reason that the BGCT sends only 28% of Cooperative Fund money to the SBC is that in the last 15 years, the BGCT has deliberately duplicated many of the ministries traditionally done by the SBC. The BGCT started printing its own Sunday School literature and started its own international missions organization. The BGCT defunded Southwestern Seminary and started its own seminaries, including one only 90 miles away from Southwestern. The BGCT has wasted a huge amount of money by needlessly duplicating existing ministries of the SBC.

Darrell said...

SPEAKING OF FALSE FACTS...DOES THE CBF OR BGCT SUPPORT THE TYPE OF BIBLE APPLICATION THAT CALLS EVIL GOOD AND GOOD EVIL LIKE THE "NEW" BUNCH OF THE TAKEOVER SUPPORTS "THEIR RIGHTS" TO THE KLOUDA INCIDENT AND SO MANY THINGS ALMOST AS BAD?

SEEMS TO ME TO BE A LOT OF THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK.


BUT, HEY, LETS NOT LET THE TRUTH GET IN THE WAY.

Anonymous said...

Yet another reason that the BGCT sends only 28% of CP to the SBC is that it sends 4.3% of its budget to Baylor University. Why does Baylor need so much money from the BGCT when it has its own alumni base to support it? Why should the BGCT send so much money to a university that doesn't let the BGCT select trustees? I would prefer that my CP money go to support international missionaries instead of Baylor. That is why a church is better off being in the SBTC which sends 55% (as one commenter pointed out my data was out-of-date) to the SBC as opposed to the BGCT which sends only 28% to the SBC.

Rex Ray said...

A letter in the Baptist Standard tells some of the reasons why the BGCT has problems.

Wooing another's wife April 8, 2002
___I am a widow in my 80th year, and I'm so distressed over what has
happened in our beloved convention.
___The letter written by SBC Executive Committee President Morris
Chapman and sent to churches in Texas to suggest they decrease the
amount given to the Baptist General Convention of Texas and also to
persuade them to join the rival convention reminded me of a man trying
to woo a wife away from a faithful husband and not caring at all how
she also would be deserting all her many children--ministries of the
BGCT.
___I'm so convinced the takeover by the fundamentalists has come
about because the average person in the pew is either blissfully unaware
or uncaring about what is really happening.
___ W.I. Sparkman___ Kopperl, Texas

The reason Buckner refused money from the SBTC is because there were ‘strings attached’. I believe one was signing the BFM 2000 that’s been made into a creed.

The SBTC violates the warning prediction of Herschel Hobbs:
"Baptists have always agreed on basics but have had their differences on details. This is because they have a living faith rather than a creedal one. The tensions created by these differences have kept their faith vibrant.
In all likelihood, the only thing that would divide Southern Baptists with regard to their faith would be for one group–to the right or left of center or even in the center–to attempt to force upon others a creedal faith. So long as they hold to the competency of the soul in religion, they will remain as one body in the faith.
The very differences which disturb some will serve as counter balances between extremes, with the vast majority remaining in between as always."

I believe the obedience to the call of God to preach the Gospel is between a person and the Holy Spirit living within. There is no stronger, higher, or superior contract.

For an outsider to cancel that contract may find he is fighting God. Our missionaries were fired because they would not agree with a man-made paper replacing the Bible as our doctrinal guideline. Compared to God’s calling, that paper is about like arguing how to break an egg on the ends or in the middle.
I don’t believe there can be a reunion until the prodigal returns from eating you know where.

Anonymous said...

". . . In contrast, Texas Baptist Men did accept a fraternal relationship with the SBTC, and they cooperate with both state conventions . . ."

Dude with all the stats: the TBM group was approached with what amounted to a take-offer from the SBTC; the TBM leadership told the SBTC, "Take a hike!" Any relationship between the TBM and the SBTC is completely by two independent parties.

DOMs in Texas can tell stories about similar attempted take-overs by SBTC. Ask 'em!

Anonymous said...

Hey, on the Buckner thing: Buckner is a $160 million organization. It does a great job in the U.S. and internationally--and it doesn't need the SBTC, the BGCT, or the SBC to make that happen! What would you have said to the offer from the SBTC?--"Please, please! Let us join-up with you; we can't make it on our own!" I really don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:43,

Not hardly. All state conventions are on the slide, as are most Baptist churches in the United States of America. People don't attend the annual meetings anymore for the same reason they don't attend your church: they don't want to--not because they thought through alleged problems in the convention and "voted" with their feet to indicate their disagreement. Almost every single Texas Baptist is a theologically-conservative one (and most are politically-moderate ones)--and almost every single one of them couldn't care less about the BGCT, the SBTC, the SBC, the CBF, the IRS, or even know that those organizations exist (OK, they know about the IRS). How many churches did you expect the SBTC to have after 10-15 years' existence?--20? They may be Fundamentalists, but they believe in starting (and maybe stealing) churches.

Sheesh. Pay attention.

Anonymous said...

Hey "Sheesh. Pay attention."

Amen! one of the best post today!

I ahe preached in over 100 churches in 5 states and hot 10% give a hoot about it and just send theur money where they want and move on if the crap gets out of hand.

Many years ago in seminary a great Prof said

" I AM A THEOLOGICAL CONSERVATIVE,

AND A SOCIAL MODERATE,

WHICH MAKES ME REPUGNANT IN SOME PEOPLES EYES."


HE WAS RIGHT THEN AND HE IS RIGHT NOW.

Anonymous said...

"last February, the [Texas Baptist Men] board of directors voted also to have a fraternal working relationship with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention"

http://www.bgct.org/texasbaptists/Page.aspx?pid=2520&srcid=2466

Anonymous said...

In 2000 the SBTC Annual Meeting had 624 messengers and 631 visitors.

In 2008, the SBTC Annual Meeting had 1,033 registered messengers and 546 guests. The 2009 attendance was depressed by meeting in Lubbock, but they still managed to have 889 messengers and 423, still exceeding their 2000 messenger total.

The SBTC annual meeting attendance has grown since 2000, while the BGCT attendance has declined by 78%.

Anonymous said...

to anon10:19 mp

aaahhhh, nickles and noses:

might never makes right:

Not in Gods eyes. 1st Samuel 15 says "he does not want sacrifice, but obedience. that disobedience is witchraft."

Where does the ruined lives and ministries and half truths fit in here. Why doesn't this organization of so call christian conservatives do all it can to help Mrs KLouda? God is looking for RIGHTOUSNESS not self rightousness.


There are one billion muslims. If only numbers count in religion then they win. Numbers didn't make hitler right and some of their belt buckles said "god is with us"

I hope the btc is fearing god and not to impressed with their own rightousness.

By your works you will be know in eternity, not by slander, half truths, destroyed ministries and lives and not crowing about how great you are.

John Wylie said...

Ben Stratton,

I want to say first of all that what I'm about to say is an expression of disagreement not a personal attack on you.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. Altough I was saved and baptized in a Southern Baptist Church, my entire ministry has been in either independent or missionary Baptist churches. I was once a committed landmarker (even now I am ashamed of myself for the nonsence I taught people). I bought into it hook, line, and sinker; I placed copies of The Trail of BLood on the table in the foyer. I wrongly equated the universal church with ecumenicalism. So what I'm trying to say is that you're not dealing with someone who is ignorant of the landmark poistion and argumentation.

Now here's what I want to say to you, Ben, you have actually made my point. I stated that Landmarkism came into existence in the 1840's in the South, you gave two quotes, the first from 1915 Texas and the other from 1846 talking about churches in the South. I have no doubt that the Baptist churches in the South, from about the 1840's to the middle 1900's were largely Landmarker, but I would hardly refer to these as "old" Baptists. But if you would simply read the 1742 Philadelphia Confession of Faith (BTW most Lanmarkers would admit that all Baptists in America can trace their heritage Aback to the Philadelphia Assoc. The Trail of Blood even says this is true). In it clearly espouses the universal church doctrine in the very first sentence it says:

"The catholic or universal church, which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ, the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."

The 1689 London Confession of Faith says exactly the same thing. This is the confession Spurgeon used to teach doctrine to his new members. These two confessions show that Baptists believed in the universal church more than 300 years ago, and more than 150 years before the invention of Landmarkism.

Gene S said...

Curtis Freeman who heads the Baptist House of Duke University delivered a most astute lecture in which he traces the moderate/conservative debate from way back when.

I think you will appreciate his take and thorough anotated analysis:

http://search.mywebsearch.com/mywebsearch/redirect.jhtml?qid=773a082bd3d6e4d8b0c24f39b5ee04b6&searchfor=curtis+freeman+marney+and+race&action=pick&pn=1&si=iac1&n=77ce7e83&ptb=Pk2WFWxE3IMh9tiJW5X51Q&ptnrS=ZJxdm398YYUS&ss=&st=bar&cb=ZJ&pg=GGmain&ord=0&tpr=&redirect=mPWsrdz9heamc8iHEhldEc9aOqTyWnbXgJZnIpqCyX3a47eL7RFnueRv%2Ftx3%2BOrK14WBn8xAXQB7VNoAx1MS1G6nZ8dwy0P%2FvVF7SSdSqHBs0WIcQe2aJ7sK%2BVRz0Jvp&ct=AR

I pretty much agree with his analysis, but an sadened that the egos and personalities of Conservative Resurgence overcame our formerly saving grace: AUTONOMY.

John Wylie said...

Rex,

I meant to ask you a couple of questions if you don't mind.

First, I was wondering do you believe that the original manuscripts when the biblical authors wrote them were inerrant? And second, do you believe that there should be any litmus test doctrinally speaking for missionary support? I'll give an example, if a missionary candidate expressed doubts about the virgin birth, or the bodily resurrection of Christ would it be ok for the missionary candidate to be dismissed? I really want to know what you think.

Rex Ray said...

John,
You seem to be a lot better at asking questions than answering.

As much as I’d like to tell you what I believe about the original manuscripts I will refrain until you answer the question I’ve asked you more than once:

Which should be our guideline, the BFM 2000 or the Bible?


You ask: “Should there be any litmus test doctrinally speaking for missionary support?

Missionary support would apply to a missionary on the field, but your example switches to a “missionary candidate”.

There’s a big difference between a candidate and a missionary on the field – especially one that’s been there many years.

Candidates get the ‘third degree’ on doctrine to - “When’s the last time you viewed pornography?’

The “litmus test” is for candidates, but once on the field I believe the Holy Spirit should be their guide and not armchair quarterbacks or “God-appointed leaders” that’s never been in the trenches and have no faith that the Holy Spirit can finish what He started.

The present IMB has forgotten their job is to assist missionaries, and NOT for missionaries to assist them.

One missionary said they were told there would be a rope from the IMB that they could hold on to, but he felt the rope was used to hang missionaries.

John Wylie said...

Rex,

Here is my answer, I believe the Bible should be the guideline.

I also believe that since the missionaries are being paid by the convention churches they ought to always be doctrinally accountable. I have known missionaries who have apostacized while on the field and we had to drop support. I believe even if a missionary is a veteran and they change their position on the virgin birth or the resurrection or blood atonement or any other essential they ought to be removed.

While I agree with the BFM 2000, I don't believe it should be a missionary should be required to affirm it.

John Wylie said...

Sorry I messed that last paragraph up royally, I do not believe a missionary should be required to affrim the BFM 2000.

Michael Gormley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Wylie said...

Michael,

I usually try to show some respect but I'm sorry I can't let that pass. We may fight among ourselves but you have no credibility.

I can see why you're a little sensitive about the gay thing what with your priests' habits with altar boys. The Catholic church has no right to point the finger at anyone. Look at the inquisitions, crusades, collaboration with the Nazis, selling of indulgences. Baptists have their problems, but the Catholic church has been apostate since its inception. Not to mention judgmental, Vatican II condemned all noncatholics to hell. Baptists have never as group believed they had exclusive rights to heaven.

Rex Ray said...

John,
I’m glad we agree on some “common ground” that the Bible is our guideline.

I’ll assume if you don’t correct me that you believe the “guideline” also applies to “our doctrine guideline” which is in agreement with the BGCT that rejects “The 2000 statement of the Baptist Faith and Message is our doctrinal guideline”.

To answer your question: “Do you believe that the original manuscripts when the biblical authors wrote them were inerrant?”

I will quote what has been in the Baptist Faith and Message since 1925:

“We believe the Bible has…truth, without any mixture of error for its matter.”

Hold that thought and I’ll get back to it after this example of Moses that I believe has been preserved as it was written in the original manuscripts.

Three times (Deuteronomy 1:37, 3:26, and 4:21) Moses told the people, “And the Lord was even angry with me because of them and said to me, you shall not enter the Promise Land.”

Was what Moses said in Deuteronomy
1. The true?
2. A mistake or ignorance?
3. A lie?

Moses lied by blaming the people because he knew the truth why he could not go to the Promise Land as God told him in Numbers 20:12, 24, and 27:14:
1. “Because you did not trust me…”
2. “Because you both rebelled against My command…”
3. “You rebelled against My command…”

I believe some Bible words have not been preserved such as the verb ‘may become’ was changed into “is” in 1 Corinthians 7:14. [“What does ‘is’ mean?” – Clinton :)]

“The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the Christian husband.”

Back to the Baptist Faith and Message of “…truth without any mixture of error”.

What that means: (explained to me by the lawyer of the SBC, Michel Whitehead)

The truth of the Bible is true and the untruth of the Bible is untrue.

Hey! How can you argue with that huh? It’s like Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:15 “…rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Joe Blackmon said...

Christians recognize that the bible is inerrant (the Chicago Statement is a pretty good explanation of that doctrine). The BGCT rejects inerrancy. What possible reason would Christians have for reconciling with the BGCT?

Do not be bound together with unbelievers (i.e. those who reject inerrancy); for what partnership have righteousness (SBTC and those who affirm inerrnacy) and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? II Corinthians 6:14 (NASB)

Anonymous said...

Joe Blackmon,

The BGCT apologists will not try to argue theology with you. Instead, they will argue that some SBC leader is really mean or hypocritical, and that makes it OK for them to reject inerrancy. Or they will try to deny that the BGCT denies inerrancy, even though the official BGCT "Theologian-in-Residence" has written multiple articles expressing his hatred of the truth of biblical inerrancy. Or they will try to hide behind "Historic Baptist Principles" which they use as a smokescreen to smuggle in liberalism.

Rex Ray said...

Joe Blackmon,
You say, “Christians recognize that the bible is inerrant (the Chicago Statement is a pretty good explanation of that doctrine).”

‘Chicago Statement’ states:
“Since God has nowhere promised an inerrant transmission of Scripture, it is necessary to affirm that only the autographic text of the original documents was inspired.”

Joe, do you use that to explain how the Bible in your hand is inerrant? Or do you use this statement of ‘Chicago’?

“Authority of Scripture is in no way jeopardized by the fact that the copies we possess are not entirely error-free.”

Or this statement?

“Apparent inconsistencies should not be ignored. Solution of them, where this can be convincingly achieved, will encourage our faith, and where for the present no convincing solution is at hand we shall significantly honor God by trusting His assurance that His Word is true, despite these appearances, and by maintaining our confidence that one day they will be seen to have been illusions.”

Joe, will you tell me the difference of what I would call an error and what you would call an illusion? That is if you use the Chicago Statement for your thinking.

To say “…unbelievers (i.e. those who reject inerrancy) is about the same as the Executive Director of the SBTC saying: “Those who depart theologically will be identified and called to repent.”

Are you sure your name is not Jim Richards?

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous,
Who backs down from discussing/arguing theology?

Who said it was OK to reject inerrancy because some SBC leaders are mean or hypocritical?

Who denies the BGCT denies inerrancy?

Who smuggles in liberalism?

I can’t find one thing you said that had truth in it. Why don’t you give some facts to back up what you’re claiming?

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous are you anonymous of Wed Oct 13, 07:12 PM 2010?

Who said…(7) The SBTC clearly opposes homosexuality as sinful. The BGCT is controlled by Texas Baptists Committed, which is already starting to waver on the issue:
http://texasbaptistscommitted.blogspot.com/2010/09/which-beliefs-are-baptist-dealbreakers.html

Bill Jones who wrote what you gave a link to said…
“1. TBC [Texas Baptists Committed] has never controlled the BGCT.

2. My post represented my thoughts and NOT any official TBC position.

3. My post could not be HONESTLY construed as promoting any particular doctrinal position, only as asking for honesty and clarification.”

Ben Stratton said...

John Wylie,

Thank you for your reply to be previous comments. I would encourage you to take a closer look at the historical points I mentioned before. Let me explain.

1. I gave a quote from R.B.C. Howell from 1846. You have mentioned several times that "landmarkism came into existence in the 1840's." Most Baptist historians give the begining of landmarkism with the Cotton Grove Resolutions in 1851 or J.R. Graves asumming the sole editorship of the Tenneessee Baptist newspaper in 1849. Regardless of which date you choose, both dates are after 1846. Also remember that R.B.C. Howell was J.R. Graves' chief Baptist opponent during the landmarkism controversy. So you have a non-landmarker, before the landmark movement, saying that there were NO open communion Baptist churches in the south. Interesting!

2. I agree that the 1915 quote is from the hayday of landmark strength in the SBC. Yet I can readily furnish quotes from much earlier. Consider this quote:

"Our reasons, therefore for rejecting baptism by immersion when administered by Pedobaptist ministers are: That they are connected with churches clearly out of the apostolic succession, and therefore clearly out of the apostolic commission. " Jesse Mercer, 1811 circular letter.

Here you have one of the greatest Baptist leaders in Georgia (before J.R. Graves was even born!) rejecting alien immersion and believing in Baptist succession. Amazing! And I can provide early quotes like this from just about every state in the union.

3. You mention the Philadlephia and Second London confessions of faith. I am familiar with both. Yes both teach the idea of a unversal church but not in a typical Protestant or Scofield way. Read them again. There is no mention of the Holy Spirit baptizing anyone into an invisible body of Christ. (Nor will you find this sort of language in ANY old Baptist confession of faith.) What these confessions of faith acutally meant can be debated on another day. However I would point out that a number of historic landmarkers belived in the idea of a universal church (made up of all the elect and only assembled in glory.) J.M. Pendleton is the greatest example. T.T. Eaton (the main opponent of William Whitsitt) actually wrote a defense of the Philadelphia confession. And the Ashland Ave. Baptist Church (the church that prints the Trail of Blood) has always held to the Philadelphia confession.

My point is this: Just because some of the old Baptists (but not all of them) believed in some sort of a universal church does not mean that were not landmarkers. What did they believe about baptism and the Lord's Supper? What did they believe about Baptist origins? What did they believe about ecumenicism and fellowship between denominations? On these questions, the vast majority of them were clear landmarkers.

Ben Stratton said...

John Wylie,

Thank you for your reply to be previous comments. I would encourage you to take a closer look at the historical points I mentioned before. Let me explain.

1. I gave a quote from R.B.C. Howell from 1846. You have mentioned several times that "landmarkism came into existence in the 1840's." Most Baptist historians give the begining of landmarkism with the Cotton Grove Resolutions in 1851 or J.R. Graves asumming the sole editorship of the Tenneessee Baptist newspaper in 1849. Regardless of which date you choose, both dates are after 1846. Also remember that R.B.C. Howell was J.R. Graves' chief Baptist opponent during the landmarkism controversy. So you have a non-landmarker, before the landmark movement, saying that there were NO open communion Baptist churches in the south. Interesting!

2. I agree that the 1915 quote is from the hayday of landmark strength in the SBC. Yet I can readily furnish quotes from much earlier. Consider this quote:

"Our reasons, therefore for rejecting baptism by immersion when administered by Pedobaptist ministers are: That they are connected with churches clearly out of the apostolic succession, and therefore clearly out of the apostolic commission. " Jesse Mercer, 1811 circular letter.

Here you have one of the greatest Baptist leaders in Georgia (before J.R. Graves was even born!) rejecting alien immersion and believing in Baptist succession. Amazing! And I can provide early quotes like this from just about every state in the union.

3. You mention the Philadlephia and Second London confessions of faith. I am familiar with both. Yes both teach the idea of a unversal church but not in a typical Protestant or Scofield way. Read them again. There is no mention of the Holy Spirit baptizing anyone into an invisible body of Christ. (Nor will you find this sort of language in ANY old Baptist confession of faith.) What these confessions of faith acutally meant can be debated on another day. However I would point out that a number of historic landmarkers belived in the idea of a universal church (made up of all the elect and only assembled in glory.) J.M. Pendleton is the greatest example. T.T. Eaton (the main opponent of William Whitsitt) actually wrote a defense of the Philadelphia confession. And the Ashland Ave. Baptist Church (the church that prints the Trail of Blood) has always held to the Philadelphia confession.

My point is this: Just because some of the old Baptists (but not all of them) believed in some sort of a universal church does not mean that were not landmarkers. What did they believe about baptism and the Lord's Supper? What did they believe about Baptist origins? What did they believe about ecumenicism and fellowship between denominations? On these questions, the vast majority of them were clear landmarkers.

Ben Stratton said...

Sorry for the double post.

Rex Ray said...

It’s been said you should know why a fence was put up before you tear it down, but in the case of Trail of Blood, you should know why Trail of Blood was torn down by the C/R to understand the fence.

To have an inerrant Bible, Fundamentalists believe all authors must be ‘high caliber‘as possible. I mean we wouldn’t want a book written by Judas would we? Until the C/R, there was a question who wrote the ‘Three Johns’; John the apostle or John the elder.

The C/R claimed the ‘Three Johns’ were written by John the apostle, but the very popular Trail of Blood said history recorded two Johns – the apostle and the elder and the apostle was killed by being boiled in oil long before the ‘Three Johns’ or Revelations were written.

J. M. Carroll wrote: “In the first two centuries the individual churches rapidly multiplied and some of the earlier ones, such as Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, etc., grew to be very large; Jerusalem, for instance, had many thousand members (Acts 2:41; 4:4, 5:14), possibly 25,000 or even 50,000 or more. A close student of the book of Acts and Epistles will see that Paul had a mighty task even in his day in keeping some of the churches straight. See Peter's and Paul's prophecies concerning the future (II Pet. 2:12; Acts 20:29-31. See also Rev., second and third chapters).
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). Here was the beginning of an error which has grown and multiplied into many other seriously hurtful errors. Here was the beginning of different orders in the ministry running up finally to what is practiced now by others as well as Catholics. Here began what resulted in an entire change from the original democratic policy and government of the early churches. This irregularity began in a small way, even before the close of the second century. This was possibly the first serious departure from the New Testament church order.”


Carroll summed up the most significant events of the first five-century period with nine statements. His first was:

“The gradual change from a democracy to a preacher-church government.”


Is history repeating itself by the hero (Criswell) of Fundamentalist (SBTC) saying, “The pastor is the ruler of the church”?

John Wylie,
I commend you on your first belief in Trail of Blood. Did you catch why the C/R had to tear this ‘fence’ down because Carroll referred III John 9 as the start of errors by large churches lording over small churches?

Horrors! Fundamentalists had to twist Carroll’s words to make him a ‘Landmarker’. I’ll bet his picture that once hung in the hall of SWBTS is gathering dust in a closet with the podium that was ‘contaminated’ by a woman preaching a great sermon to students.

Rex Ray said...

It’s been said you should know why a fence was put up before you tear it down, but in the case of Trail of Blood, you should know why Trail of Blood was torn down by the C/R to understand the fence.

To have an inerrant Bible, Fundamentalists believe all authors must be ‘high caliber‘as possible. I mean we wouldn’t want a book written by Judas would we? Until the C/R, there was a question who wrote the ‘Three Johns’; John the apostle or John the elder.

The C/R claimed the ‘Three Johns’ were written by John the apostle, but the very popular Trail of Blood said history recorded two Johns – the apostle and the elder and the apostle was killed by being boiled in oil long before the ‘Three Johns’ or Revelations were written.

J. M. Carroll wrote: “In the first two centuries the individual churches rapidly multiplied and some of the earlier ones, such as Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, etc., grew to be very large; Jerusalem, for instance, had many thousand members (Acts 2:41; 4:4, 5:14), possibly 25,000 or even 50,000 or more. A close student of the book of Acts and Epistles will see that Paul had a mighty task even in his day in keeping some of the churches straight. See Peter's and Paul's prophecies concerning the future (II Pet. 2:12; Acts 20:29-31. See also Rev., second and third chapters).
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). Here was the beginning of an error which has grown and multiplied into many other seriously hurtful errors. Here was the beginning of different orders in the ministry running up finally to what is practiced now by others as well as Catholics. Here began what resulted in an entire change from the original democratic policy and government of the early churches. This irregularity began in a small way, even before the close of the second century. This was possibly the first serious departure from the New Testament church order.”

Rex Ray said...

It’s been said you should know why a fence was put up before you tear it down, but in the case of Trail of Blood, you should know why Trail of Blood was torn down by the C/R to understand the fence.

To have an inerrant Bible, Fundamentalists believe all authors must be ‘high caliber‘as possible. I mean we wouldn’t want a book written by Judas would we? Until the C/R, there was a question who wrote the ‘Three Johns’; John the apostle or John the elder.

The C/R claimed the ‘Three Johns’ were written by John the apostle, but the very popular Trail of Blood said history recorded two Johns – the apostle and the elder and the apostle was killed by being boiled in oil long before the ‘Three Johns’ or Revelations were written.

J. M. Carroll wrote: “In the first two centuries the individual churches rapidly multiplied and some of the earlier ones, such as Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, etc., grew to be very large; Jerusalem, for instance, had many thousand members (Acts 2:41; 4:4, 5:14), possibly 25,000 or even 50,000 or more. A close student of the book of Acts and Epistles will see that Paul had a mighty task even in his day in keeping some of the churches straight. See Peter's and Paul's prophecies concerning the future (II Pet. 2:12; Acts 20:29-31. See also Rev., second and third chapters).
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). Here was the beginning of an error which has grown and multiplied into many other seriously hurtful errors. Here was the beginning of different orders in the ministry running up finally to what is practiced now by others as well as Catholics. Here began what resulted in an entire change from the original democratic policy and government of the early churches. This irregularity began in a small way, even before the close of the second century. This was possibly the first serious departure from the New Testament church order.”

Carroll summed up the most significant events of the first five-century period with nine statements. His first was:

“The gradual change from a democracy to a preacher-church government.”


Is history repeating itself by the hero (Criswell) of Fundamentalist (SBTC) saying, “The pastor is the ruler of the church”?

John Wylie,
I commend you on your first belief in Trail of Blood. Did you catch why the C/R had to tear this ‘fence’ down because Carroll referred III John 9 as the start of errors by large churches lording over small churches?

Horrors! Fundamentalists had to twist Carroll’s words to make him a ‘Landmarker’. I’ll bet his picture that once hung in the hall of SWBTS is gathering dust in a closet with the podium that was ‘contaminated’ by a woman preaching a great sermon to students.

Rex Ray said...

Ben Stratton,
I wondered how you had the double post. I found out the hard way - did the same to me. I tried to post many times…even cut my comment in half. Finally logged off the computer and started over. Guess we’ll have to ask Thy Peace what’s going on.

BTW, I don’t know anything about your subject, but sounds like you know the facts.

foxofbama said...

Wade, Are you saying that while you give Inerrancy a great deal of credence, you are now willing to cooperate with folks, even allow them in leadership positions, in groups with which you fellowship denominationally?
Seems that way to me, that your are now making more formal your openness to be in one accord with Covenant Baptists, even CBF; or am I misreading you???

younglandmarker said...

John Wylie,

Thank you for your comments. You just made it easier to see the battles that are going to be fought in the near future in the ABA.

Ben Stratton,

I highly appreciate your defense of Landmarkism although I have to say that your definition of what you would recognize as a Landmark church is not as strict as mine.

Wade,
If the SBC is becoming so Landmark, why are our young pastors fleeing there?