Monday, May 29, 2006

Christian Union Principles

In and around the Enid, Oklahoma area there are a few churches that are known as Christian Union Churches. The Christian Union Churches were founded during the Civil War as result of dissatisfaction that the pulpits of evangelical denominations were often more politically oriented than gospel oriented. Preachers would often make political statements rather than preach the gospel and Christ-loving people left the mainlain denominations and formed the new union.

The Christian Union Church is composed of people from all denominations with varied and multiple church backgrounds. Christian Unionists see themselves as an organization of people rather than a denomination of churches. Most Christian Union people have formed congregations in Ohio and Indiana, but there are a few congregations in Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa and Arkansas.

There are a number of people at Emmanuel, the church I pastor, that were were raised in Christian Union Churches. Recently one of my members sent me the five principles around which the Christian Union Church revolves. You might call these people five point unionists :).

The Christian Union priciples are as follows:

(1). The Oneness of the Church of Christ Must Be Emphasized (I Cor. 12:12; Ps. 133:1, Rom. 12:5; John 17:20,21).

(2). Christ is the Only Head of His Church (Eph. 1:22; Col. 1:18)

(3). The Bible Is the Only Rule of Faith and Practice For the Church (II Tim. 3: 14-17; Rom. 15: 4; Ps. 119:97-104.

(4). Good Fruits Are the Only Condition of Fellowship Within the Church (Matt. 7:16; James 3:17).

(5). Our Desire Is To Maintain Christian Union Without Controversy (Mark 9:38-40; II Tim. 2:14; Eph. 4:2,3).

These are five points that the SBC would do well to emulate.

In His Grace,



Anonymous said...


Bro. Rob said...

Yeah, those points are good, but do you think they are complete? I mean, where do they stand on the color of their hymnals, or for that matter, what publishing date? And who's responsible for the thermostat setting, the chairman of the deacons or the WMU director? I bet they've never even heard of Lottie Moon! Hey, you did say they're Christian churches, right?

Batchap67 said...

Bro. Wade,
The Christian Unionist sounds a bit "Para-Church" or "Emergent" (Not necessarily bad).

I'm not sure if point five is realistic as controversy is inevetiable when confessions of faith that can be changed are used to express belief/truth. Consider the change from BFM 1963 to 2000 and how many were upset by changes. The BGCT used this a primary reason to pull away from the SBC.

When confessions are used that are so fluid and allow so much "wiggle room" for a whole host of beliefs, e.g., Pre-mill, Amill, Post-mill, personalities tend to emerge and competing opinions soon are competing as dogma/truth. This type of confessional system is in some ways very close to what I hear so many in SBC pulpits today decry & bash as Post-Modern thought, i.e., "there are no absolutes." In the case of the SBC it is this lack of absolutes that is paraded and heralded as "Religious Liberty." And that leads to controversy when tolerance is not practiced. Consider the Caner brothers recent venom against those which ascribe to the Doctrines of Grace: Truth or Opinion? Personality or Religious Liberty? Who's right? Are the Mohlerines or Falwellians correct? Now, I'm sure some will say the Bible is correct! Great, both groups will claim verse after verse to support their version of truth and in the end there will be the two different camps of Arminians and Pauline Doctrine of Electionists. Aren't both still Christian? Or is that title not as important as being a Baptist?

Finally, when confessions are used that declare dogmatically that a non-essential, (makes for a great book title: Non-Essential Dogma) i.e., baptism or glossalalia, must occur according to the proper forms, manner and mode (or not occur at all) then is it really a non-essential?

Reformed Episcopalianism/Orthodox Presbyterianism are looking pretty good as alternatives... but then I'd miss out on all the controversy!


Anonymous said...

Wade sounds like good old fashioned Acts Church, maybe one day we can see this in the SBC. But then again our differences can strengthen us as a convention if we would just keep ourselves out of the picture. On the other issue, thanks for your boldness to be a voice. May more of us seek to shun the good ol boy mentality
and be willing to do what is right for the convention as a whole. I have two IMB M in my church who are serving abroad. And another fixing to go this next fall. Their families and our Church are sure glad you are on the board. Texas as you know has had it's share of conflicts within the two conventions. But i want you to know Pearsall FBC would be considered a Union Church. Being a union church, I wonder if it would keep us from joining one of the conventions in Texas even though we have more in common with the one that might not allow us in. Thank goodness we have not had to choose, I guess i still believe their is room for all of us in SBC.
God Bless you

Brian Blackburn
Pearsall, Texas

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Wade, for giving us the "five points."

"It is enough that Jesus died,
and that he died for me."

Florence in KY

Kevin Bussey said...


It would be great if we could simplify our BFM to something like this.

Anonymous said...


If these are the only five points one holds to, I see a huge problem down the road.

If such heretics like Arius were still alive, I don't think he would have any problem whatsoever in affirming what you just said. I am all for christian unity, however, not at the cost of forsaking doctrine.

With that said, you may write off my post and say, "I am not attempting to forsake the basic tenets. I just want to add these five to the established doctrine we hold to." However, the fact of the matter is, this process is exactly what was being attempted by the moderates of the fifties and sixties (This is well documented in Hankins' book "Uneasy in Babylon".)

Do not take me the wrong way, I am not assuming, nor am I calling you a moderate. However, I am making the observation that this was the thought process.

Do we need to be in an ivory tower? By no means. Can we work along side fellow believers? We must. However, we must also keep our own identity. As a Southern Baptist, we believe that we have it right when it comes to the doctrines of God, salvation, and inerrancy; as well as SBC's teaching on baptism and the nature of the church. If one does not affirm this, then he should pursue a non-denominational pastorate.

Who then should we be one with? Catholics? Methodists? Presbyterians? Pentecostals?

I have no problem with embracing my calvinist brothers in the Presbyterian denomination. Nor do I have any problem with embracing my charismatic Pentecostal brothers. However, there are key doctrinal issues that are in place that serve as seperators. This can and will not change. So to say that we should be one...I truly believe this. However, I do not see how an apple (SBC) and an orange (Presbyterians)can be absolutly one. If you think they can, you are fooling yourself. There are too many differences, (i.e. baptism and ecclesiology).

Perhaps, though, you can say, "But we can still fellowship together." This does not mean we are one. It means we display brotherly love. I do not see that this is being neglected in the majority of SBC churches of today.

To say that we are one, would mean we would have to meet in the middle on immersion and sprinkling. Wade, are you willing to do that? We would have to meet in the middle on theological concepts with the Episcopals, allowing homosexuals to be ordained. Wade, are you willing to do that? If not, what then do you mean by saying we should be one?

Paul Burleson said...

Wade, I'm writing this as a comment instead of an e-mail because it is for those who have followed your journey with love, interest, anger, or whatever, as much as it is for you.
I've watched you for months now in a way I never have. I've seen you expose your heart and mind on issues that are painful for you and your family personally but are also hurtful to people and our denomination at large.
You have struggled to walk the line of not becoming the issue but rather keeping the issues out front.
You have sought to hear comments when the comments were negative even personal except personal against someone else.
You have tried to follow biblical principles of correction when wrongs were done.
You have sought counsel [including mine] on every decision you have had to make.
You have answered objections to your thoughts, behavior, actions,and decisions with grace and respectfulness.
You have not been without error as with the tone of an early post that demonstrated a militant spirit.
You apologized.
You have sought to be above board and connected to the SBC people you represent and many have expressed that they sense a connectedness, some for the first time ever.
All of this is because within a couple of days you will publish a decision you need to make and in two weeks the Convention will make some decisions it needs to make. Whatever those are you will go on as a family man, pastor,and IMB trustee in an effective manner as always. So, I'm letting you know there are so many, including your church, your friends, and especially your family, along with a multitude of unnamed Southern Baptists who have been spoken for, challenged, blessed, who continue to stand with you.
Some may say I'm biased [and they may be correct to a degree] but I do attempt to look at the truthfulness of facts and issues and try to be discerning as does, I'm sure, all reading this.
Someone may think it is inappropriate for your Dad to say this, but I don't think it is ever inappropriate to say..."Thank you".
And I will add .."I'm proud of you".


Bob Cleveland said...

According to what Paul told the church at Corinth:

"And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified."

If "When I came to you..." refers to the time he planted the church, I guess that would have been a missionary trip.


Anonymous said...

I recently read an interesting line in another blog that said the church's mission should not be to "church" the "unchurched", but rather to "dechurch" the "enchurched".. He then went on to say that our greatest need was to "reJesus" the church. I really liked those words.

Elisabeth B.

Bob Cleveland said...


Jesus Himself said:

John 17:18-22: As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

If Jesus instructed it, then we must be able to do it. And if we've erected theological or doctrinal barriers that make it impossible, then we're wrong in that.

Since the Bible is a reflection of the perfect and infinite God, nobody here will ever understand it all perfectly. I think God knows that, so I'm driven to the conclusion that we can, indeed, be one with brothers of different denominations.

The fact that I may not feel like one with lots of other sorts of Christians is a reflection of my own sin.

God help me.

scripturesearcher said...

Running Paul Burleson's comments TWICE gives me the distinct impression that both HE and WE are proud of the way you have stood for the truth in the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Evangelist Fred Cherry, your maternal grandpa and my friend from years ago, would be proud of you, too!

Be careful, however, that your dis-couragers do not take your latest post as an indication that you are about to bolt from the SBC and then urge you to do it ASAP.

To them you are a pestilent fellow and a trouble maker. LOL LOL

I know you and your Pappa Paul are very concerned about your personal reputations among the SBC establishment moguls.

Bro. Robin said...

Bro. Wade,

I want to thank you for keeping us aware of the situation concerning the new rules that are being formed. I do agree with you that we are narrowing the conditions of service beyond the scope of the BF & M. I appreciate your demeanor when you were at the meeting in Albuquerque. It is a true witness on how we should act when confronted with accusations against our character.

I am concerned over this last blog. What do you mean by “emulate” concerning the five principles of the Christian Union? If our desire should be to maintain Christian union without controversy, should someone address a situation they think is wrong, knowing that it will create controversy? How can ideas be explored if controversy is our measuring rod of whether to discuss them or not? Frankly, as you know, the gospel is controversial.

If we were to “emulate” the five Union points, could this keep our BF & M from being a doctrinal tool for accountability as stated in the 2000 preamble? From what I have read from you, I believe you want to stay within the framework of the 2000 BF & M. If you remember seven years ago some controversy was generated over the changes proposed in the 2000 BF & M. I was at SWBTS at that time and there was controversy. Should the changes have been made from the 1963 Confession? I would say yes.

I have also read in other blogs where you feel we should be an organization of cooperating Christians. Yes, I believe we are to be Christians before we are Southern Baptists, but does this mean that should cooperate with “Open Theology” Christians in doing missions? Or how about cooperating with such people as Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, or any other “name it and claim it” preacher? Yes, I do believe we are to share the Gospel so others can be saved, but we are called to make disciples. As you have shown this through your leadership at Emmanuel, it doesn’t end with leading them to the Lord. This means that after they are saved, we are to help them grow in their new relationship to maturity in Christ. Do we want an “Openness” person teaching their view on the sovereignty of God to new converts? Do we want to support someone who denies eternal security of the believer? Yes, salvation is of primary importance, but I think there are some differences that can lead to confusion in converts rather than growth.

Someone might say that all this doctrine divides us. But on the essentials we must worship God both in spirit and in truth. I believe that the 2000 BF & M is a good rallying point for us to cooperate in missions. Again, from what I have read from you, I believe you agree with this. If I have misstated your view, I ask your forgiveness.

I know you and your family have been hurt from this stand. I do pray that the hurts are healed. No wife should be in a meeting and have to hear what was said. I am disappointed that the conduct was not better.

If I have a sent this comment with out a proper understanding of your article, please forgive me. I do not wish to cause you anymore pain. I just didn’t understand the premise of the blog.

Thank you for serving Christ. Thank you for serving our convention.

God Bless,

Bro. Robin

Anonymous said...

Rob Westbrook,
Thanks, we needed you cheer, but you forgot the Bible cover—black!

You said the BGCT used the change in the BFM to pull away from the SBC. Did they pull away or were they scraped from the Ship of Zion as barnacles? You named Pre-mill, Amil, Post-mil but forgot Pan-mill (everything’s going to pan out in the end.) Overall, I think I agree with you, I think.

Brian Blackburn,
Praise God for your church and its missionaries. The Christian Union principles are miles from the “good old fashioned Acts Church” as in Acts 21:21-22 the church was in a mood to kill Paul.

Would you give your definition of a Moderate? Probably like a small liberal, but mine is a TRUE conservative. You consider yourself a conservative, but examine your words: “we believe that we have it right when it comes to the doctrines of God, salvation, [You should have stopped right there. When you add something else, you are putting them in the same sentence with God and Salvation.] and inerrancy; [What! A man made word is up there with Calvary?] as well as SBC’s teaching on baptism and the nature of the church.” [That adds insult to injury.]
You say, “If one does not affirm this, then he should pursue a non-denominational pastorate.”
In other words, you are saying agree with me or you’re not a Baptist. Yep, you proved my point all right—your modern conservative is really a legalistic rebel.

Anonymous said...

Wade. I just read your post concerning the Christian Union Principles. I attended the Pleasant Valley Christian Union Church South of Pioneer School when I grew up and reading those principles stirred up great memories of my childhood and formative years. I'm sure she has told you, but Barbara and I attended the same church when we grew up.
Carolyn Hamm

Anonymous said...


Like a typical moderate, you took my words out of context. I was not equating the different doctrines, I was merely demonstrating important tenets of the faith. Our baptists distinctives caused me to include baptism in the same sentence...or have you lived under a rock for so long that you think everyone baptizes by immersion?

Let me get back to what I was saying...before the spin was put in by my moderate friend...

SB's are unique. We have Baptist distinctives. We are different than other denominations. Would you agree Rex? These differences include essential and nonessential doctrines. I'll let you assign what is essential and not essential, because that is not my main point here...

MY point is: with our differences in essential and nonessential doctrines, how can we as SBs, be one with Episcopals? Yes we love them, but are you willing to take on their beliefs? Not me...

To say we are one implies that we are all under the same mindset. Yes, there is an element of being different in the body according to Paul and I am not denying this. I think that you are merely misinterpreting what Paul is saying. He is talking about a local church in this instance and not a "universal church" which Wade so often talks about. Furthermore, if you would like to make the leap to the u.c. reading, then logically, we will not be one until we all come to agreements on doctrine with other denominations. For, as I read Paul, he never told the churches that they could believe what they wanted. One church was not allowed to ordain homosexuals and another sprinkling, etc. So, please do not respond and say that if we are one with other denominations, then it is okay to be different in these important theological doctrines/concepts.


volfan007 said...

to say that they are just christian churches sounds good, but what does that mean? do they beleive in tongue speaking? do they beleive in healing services? do they believe in the five points of calvinism, or are they arminian? i contend that they will be a certain kind of church, just without the label. they may not call themselves baptist, or pentecostal, or presbyterian, but they will be one of them. just without the identifying label. so, what's wrong with saying that we are baptist? it just shows who we are and where we stand in our theology.

Bob Cleveland said...

This may be one of them things that's too obvious to see.

Jesus said we are to be one. Amen .. so be it.

When we say we cannot be one with those who differ with us, we're really saying we don't want to. We'd rather argue about those things we disagree over, than fellowship around the things we do.

If we don't want to be one with others, fine. Let's just admit it instead of blaming it one the other guy.

I repeat: Jesus said it. Let's do it, or admit we don't want to.

volfan007 said...

we can be one without belonging to the same church; can we not? i have several christian brothers that i dont agree with theologically, but i still consider them my brothers in christ. and, the differences in how we do church keeps us from being able to be at church together. but, i still love them and appreciate them. amen?!?

Anonymous said...


How do you propose for us to be one? Accept the differences, or just overlook them?

I suppose the real question is, what constitutes a church? If a body of believers ordains homosexuals, are they still a church? If you say "yes" then how are we to be one? If you say "no" they are not a church, then you are doing exactly what you are accusing me, et al. of doing.

"Jesus said it. Let's do it." We are certainly supposed to follow the teaching of our Lord, however, does Jesus approve of churches who become so emotional that they bark like dogs, or churches that ordain homosexuals?

Where do we draw the line? Under what authority do we exclude people from being considered a church? Or, do we say that everyone who gathers together constitutes a church, no matter doctrine?


Bob Cleveland said...


Churches are gatherings of people with similar beliefs. Just because someone believes some things differently than I do, doesn't place any enmity between us, as long as the foundation of our faith is the same.

I think the things that it's important I agree with someone about, are the things that are going to have to be right for me to get into heaven. And I doubt God is going to ask me if I believed "Once saved, always saved", or did I speak in tongues, or was I Baptized by the right person, was I pre-mil, a-mil, or post-mil, Calvinistic, or any other such thing. I'm pretty sure about lots of those things, but I KNOW that I KNOW Jesus saved me, and He's the only hope I ever did have of heaven. If you believe that, I got no trouble being one with you.

Some of my dearest friends are members of an Assembly of God church a few miles from here. We attended their prayer meetings for several years, and we've had many joint services in the past. In fact, we have a cute story I'll recount.

Some years ago, we met with them on a Sunday evening. During the service, their pastor stopped the service and said he was led to take up an offering from their members, for our building fund. We were both involved in building projects, and they were as strapped as we were; they did it anyway.

Their pastor gave us a check for $10,000 later in the service.

In response, our church pledged to them a tithe of the sale of our old building, when we sold it. A few years later, the week we closed the sale, our pastor delivered their pastor a check for $125,000.

I know of no one I'm more "one" with, than many of their members. And we're talking Southern Baptists (Eternal Security and all) and Assembly of God (unknown tongues and you can lose your salvation). When we're together, or when we're involved in a cooperative project, nobody cares.

As volfan007 (ROLL TIDE) said, we don't have to be members of the same church.

Ordaining homosexuals? I'd take a stand against that. Unfortunately, that's not the problem I see most. It's those who don't speak in tongues alienating those who do, or vice versa, or big disagreements about eternal security and the like.

Emotional services? I cannot judge that. Someone barks like a dog, that's between him and God. I don't recall a verse about that.

Like Joseph Garlington said ... "I prefer wildfire to no fire at all". He also said "God can handle excesses".

If you've never been to a Promisekeepers meeting, you might try one. That's a pretty good example too.

Anonymous said...

Dear W.
Since Brad, is always harping on Wade about something and I don’t see his name anymore, I thought you might be him as your comment was not in favor of Wade’s post. I’m still thinking Brad as you have me living under a rock. A former pastor told me, in some kind of way, Brad liked me. I guess that might be because we enjoy the taste of chewing on each other.

You say that I took your words out of context. Did you not say? “As Southern Baptist, we believe that we have it right when it comes to the…SBC’s teaching on baptism and the nature of the church.”

Does the Bible, BFM or anything else give authority to the SBC to teach conventions, churches, or individuals ANYTHING? The Holy Spirit is to be our teacher and not like some small hand picked committee that met in secret that sidestepped churches in getting the present BFM accepted.

Do you not agree that all Christians in heaven will be one—thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. You say one is an apple and one is an orange and cannot be one, but if we show love for one another the lost world will see us as a diclinous fruit salad.

By the way—you did not give your definition of a moderate. You told Wade you were not calling him a moderate. Why did you say that? That implants the seed that he may be one.

Wade did not imply that Baptists should give up any of their beliefs in following the five principles. But Brad stays in an attack mode and jumps to improper conclusions.

Some churches are missing point 2: “Christ is the Only Head of His Church.” They are changing their bylaws to give a few the authority to ‘run’ the church, such as elders, Leadership Board etc. One pastor told his staff he was the head of the church. There, four longtime members were removed from the church by seven signatures for failure to follow the pastor.
I don’t know if this power and control of the pastor and his selected few is leaking from seminaries to churches to the SBC or if it’s the other way around.

Point 3: “The Bible is the Only Rule of Faith and Practice For the Church.”

Anonymous said...

I've noticed a trend with you. You always seem to be "sniffing out rats" and jumping to the conclusions that you know the identity of all the anonymous bloggers. I know for a fact that you have been wrong on more than one account.

You need to watch yourself. In your last blog, you actually jumped to the conclusion that "W" is Brad and referred to him as Brad.

Who am I? I'm an IMB M who would love to be able to blog in the open. I agree that it brings more credibility to the conversations. However, security does not permit me to do so.

Anonymous said...

To “WHO AM I ?”,
If you are an IMB M, then who is W ? And if W is not you, is he Brad?
Are the 3 of you guys the same? “Oh, what a tangle web we weave…”

The last time I made a comment to an IMB M, (May 13) I accused him of trying to trap Wade. The next comment was Brad: “Rex, As God is my witness I have no desire to trap Wade.”
Also in my comment to the IMB M, I accused him of having a mouse in his pocket that smelled like a rat.
Also in Brad’s same reply he stated: “They [Memphis Declaration} may see your references to me being a mouse or rat…”

The next comment was from Wade: “Brad, where are you called these things? I would be happy to delete the comment.”
There was nothing but silence from Brad. Maybe he was thinking: Oops.

All that being said; if you will prove to me where I’ve been wrong, I will more than apologize.

If you were replying to my comment to “W”, you did not answer any questions, or make any rebuttal. You used the next best thing when facing truth—attack the writer.

Anonymous said...

Rex and Bob,

This is W. I am not Brad, never met him, and I am not an IMB missionary. Actually, I am a PhD student at a SBC seminary...

I intend to respond to both of you in the same post because I am too tierd and lazy to post twice...please forgive me. Bob, thank you for your gracious and kind shows through your writing. I want to begin by apologizing because I know that I will not answer every question. If I fail to answer one, it is not because I am dodging is simply that 1. It is late and/or 2. The blog setup is so that I get tierd of scrolling down the page to find and reread posts...I'd be happy to respond to any questions I do not answer if you will provide them in one post.

Before I answer your questions, because you are accusing people of not answering yours, I want to reiterate my point in hopes that you will see the error and inconsistency of your ways:

We are in agreement that the teachings/beliefs of the SBC are unique. Good, we have a common ground. Let's go from here...

If you have one group who teaches baptism by immersion and another group who teaches sprinkling, can these groups be one? NO.

Let me define how I understand one..."To be like-minded fulfilling the same purpose." With that said, I believe we have 1/2 of this statement that occurs, or should occur. I am glad that your church and the AoG church are close. That is great...more churches should try this. Does this mean you are one? No. You are two, totally different congregations. Will you ever be one? Only if your church will accept the teachings of the AoG, or the other church affirms the BF&M. Being one and fellowshipping together are two totally different things.

At this point, I need to deliniate two things I mentioned, in order to answer the questions you already asked.

First "Thing":

Rex, you said: "Does the Bible, BFM or anything else give authority to the SBC to teach conventions, churches, or individuals ANYTHING? The Holy Spirit is to be our teacher and not like some small hand picked committee that met in secret that sidestepped churches in getting the present BFM accepted."

1. If you do not agree with the SBC, you are free to leave.

2. As a church who is in the SBC, they are saying, "I affirm what this particular statement affirms." I too believe the Holy Spirit is our teacher. I am not certain what you are exactly getting at here...are you saying that man does not teach? I am not trying to spin your comment, I truly don't understand what you are saying because on several occasions in Paul's writings (esp. in Pastorals) he talks about human teachers. So, yes, the Bible does give pastors authority to teach the Word, in fact, the commission given by Jesus in Matthew 28 calls on all believers to teach and disciple.

Second "Thing"

The BF&M is not Scripture...I know that. However, I affirm what it says. I do not make it creed, but I am not hesitant to say that I believe this confession is Biblical. If you disagree with having a confession that systematizes Scripture, then what do we do with Calvinism, or any other systematic system?

Okay, on to the questions...

How do I define a moderate? A moderate is one who is not conservative. ;-)

A moderate holds to a lesser understanding of Scripture. A typical hermeneutic by moderates is the social gospel and/or an anthropomorphic one.

Bob said, "I think the things that it's important I agree with someone about, are the things that are going to have to be right for me to get into heaven. And I doubt God is going to ask me if I believed "Once saved, always saved", or did I speak in tongues, or was I Baptized by the right person, was I pre-mil, a-mil, or post-mil, Calvinistic, or any other such thing. I'm pretty sure about lots of those things, but I KNOW that I KNOW Jesus saved me, and He's the only hope I ever did have of heaven. If you believe that, I got no trouble being one with you."

But Bob, what about Church of Christ...they add baptism to salvation, would they be one too? Or what about Roman Catholics who have a completely different understanding of things all together? I am not willing to claim that no Catholics are saved...this is God's work. My point, is that although we may be brothers and sisters in Christ, there are essential differences between them and us. If we are one, then why do we insist to baptize a former Roman Catholic in our baptist churches? If we are truly one, then would we not just accept him as is?

Bob, you said, "Ordaining homosexuals? I'd take a stand against that. Unfortunately, that's not the problem I see most. It's those who don't speak in tongues alienating those who do, or vice versa, or big disagreements about eternal security and the like."

But why would you take a stand against this if you truly believe we are one? You may say that it is because the Bible calls homosexuality a sin, and I agree. I am with you, I do not accept this. However, if we are one with the Episcopals, then we must accept it, right? I am not saying that the only people going to heaven are SBCers, and I hope you hear this through my words. However, I am making the point that unless there is true revival and people are driven back to the Word, there will be seperation because of this point and others.
Like it or not, the BF&M contains teaching, an understanding and hermeneutic of Scripture. It is open ended and this allows people wiggle room on many issues, like tongues. I am not opposed to this, and I am glad it does not cross every T and dot every I.

Rex said, "By the way—you did not give your definition of a moderate."

Please see this post...

Rex's spin: "You told Wade you were not calling him a moderate. Why did you say that? That implants the seed that he may be one."

No, if I were to say, "Wade, you may be a moderate...," then I would be saying Wade may be a moderate. I was merely making a statement so I would not be accused of labeling him as a Moderate. I wasn't and he may be, or may not be...again, this is not the point of what I was saying.

"Wade did not imply that Baptists should give up any of their beliefs in following the five principles. But Brad stays in an attack mode and jumps to improper conclusions."

1. I am not Brad.

2. Attack mode? No, I was making a comparison. I suppose that one will be accused of attacking when he calls for clarification. He never said, "Add these to what we believe." I was simply calling him out and making an argument what the potential dangers could fact, I like a lot of these statements...

"Point 3: “The Bible is the Only Rule of Faith and Practice For the Church.”

I guess it affirms what the BF&M says: "It (Scripture) reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried."

Seems like the BF&M claims authority of Scripture too...not certain why you made this last statement because I am sure you have read this portion of the BF&M before.


Anonymous said...

Hello PHD Student W.,
Sorry so long in answering. Our internet was down a couple of days. Good to know who you are. I see now you are not Brad, as you quote people correctly.

I am honored you put me on the side of Bob Cleveland.

I guess you forgot to sign your first comment (#7) with “W”. You have done remarkable well to scroll the blog (without printing it) to make your points. I guess that’s why you missed my definition of ‘moderate.’ It’s on the next line after I asked you your definition.

A moderate ‘is a TRUE conservative.”
Webster; “Conservative: 1. tending to conserve. 2. tending to preserve established institutions; opposed to change. 3. moderate; cautious.

I believe “opposed to change” is best in describing ‘conservative’ in Christian religion. When doctrine started baptizing babies for salvation, it was TRUE conservatives that opposed the change and they were called the hated name, ‘Anabaptist.’
Today, TRUE conservatives are given the hated name ‘moderate’ when they oppose changes such as:

Changed organization names.
Changed structure of missionary work.
Demoted missionaries into employees.
Forced missionaries to give up their call from God.
Fired missionaries.
Disney boycott.
Wives submit to husbands.
Told God He could not call women pastors.
Demoted ‘individual priesthood’ to ‘priesthood of believers.’
Govern churches by His laws that they interpret.
Made our BFM into a creed.
Withdrew from Baptist World Alliance
Must be baptized a certain way.
Must pray a certain way. By canceling missionary applicants who pray privately like Paul, the IMB rules that this is NOT from the Holy Spirit, and there is only one other source—the devil, they blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

Yes, by their fruits you will know them, and the ‘powers that be’ are NOT conservatives as they claim.
Why didn’t they start their own convention instead of hijacking ours?

1. It’s easy to say, “If you do not agree with the SBC, you are free to leave.” Is that what they teach you in school—our way or the highway? How does that love your Christian brother?

I am NOT leaving because I care about my brothers in the Lord who are trapped in ignorance of what has happened to our convention that is sinking into an ocean of legalistic rules.
I believe in bailing water with TRUTH until a new CAPTIAN can guide the ship into the safe harbor of loving one another.

2. You gave some good reasons for teaching, but you did not give one reason for the SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION having authority to teach anything. If they have the authority to teach one Scripture, they have the authority to teach every Scripture—and that is the Catholic Church.

Point 3: “The Bible is the Only Rule of Faith and Practice For the Church.”
How can the SBC claim the Bible is the Only Rule when they say the BFM2000 is our doctrinal guideline? They have made it higher than the Bible.

Also, in “Practice” did they use the Bible or the BFM to fire missionaries?

You said: “The BFM is not Scripture…I know that. However, I affirm what it says. I do not make it [a?] creed, but I am not hesitant to say that I believe this confession is Biblical.”

You cannot make the BFM a creed when it has already been made a creed by firing missionaries.
Webster—“Creed: A brief AUTHORITATIVE formula of religious belief.”

W., no one has answered this question. Perhaps you can. The BFM clearly states: “Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having NO authority over the conscience.” Since the BFM states it has NO authority over the conscience, how does the IMB use the BFM to fire people?
Rex Ray