The Baptized Churches Of Christ – Introduction
“. . . the Baptized Churches Of Christ”
After having published two or three articles on various aspects of the baptized churches of Christ, known as Old School Baptists of the predestinarian faith and primitive order, we design to present an in-depth discussion of this faith and send it forth in book form.
Our intent is to define our unique terms, present the historical development of church issues that produced these unique features of the Church, and then discuss various topics that need to be refreshed in this latter day. One may consider it a primer for those who are members of the church, the congregation, and the household of faith to study and consider seriously. Hopefully, it may be of means to establish believers in the “faith once delivered to the saints.”
Finally, the Appendices will include historical documents as: The “London Confession of 1644,” with annotation; J.M. Pendleton on Elder Reuben Ross’s Arminian sermon, the first preached among Baptists west of the mountains in Tennessee, and Pendleton’s report of the doctrinal preaching of Baptists before the mission movement began; The Flint River Baptist Association of Tennessee and Alabama’s actions in 1814-1817 with regard to the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions; and the same of the Miami Regular Baptist Association of Ohio; David Benedict’s recollection of the Baptists between 1809 and 1849; “A Public Address to the Baptist Society and Friends of Religion in General, On The Principles And Practices of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions,” by Elder Daniel Parker, 1820; Description of Daniel Parker by the Missionary historians; “The Kehukee Declaration” by The Kehukee Association of Baptist churches in North Carolina, 1820; “Articles Of Faith of The Georgia Baptist Association of 1792” that was adopted as the first Articles of Faith of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1845; and Delaware’s, Black Rock ADDRESS, 1832; Indiana’s White River Regular Baptist Association’s CIRCULAR LETTER 1844 which presented a history of the Modern Missionary Movement; Mississippi’s Bethany Primitive Baptist Association’s REASONS AND APPEALS, 1844, for their separation from the Mission Movement; and other documents of special interest.
Some are of historical importance that is not readily available to the general public. For one example, we have included the Elder Daniel Parker’s objection to the rise of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions of 1820, and the general misinformation published by all Missionary Baptist “historians,” that Parker was an illiterate man and the “founder of The Primitive Baptists”. The printed Address demonstrates the New School Baptists’ machiavellian dishonesty.
We have rather deliberately selected our book title because we have not always been called “Baptists,” nor “Old School,” or “Primitive,” or “Absolute Predestinarians.” All these terms came into usage due to particular conditions whereby these terms were desirous to distinguish the church from antichristian developments. These developments we will briefly touch upon as we introduce these appellatives for the “baptized churches of Christ.”
Many of the constitutions of our churches record these introductions: “We, the baptized church of Jesus Christ,” or, “We, the churches of Jesus Christ of the predestinarian faith and primitive order,” etc.
It seems appropriate here, early on, to make the following observation. When we write: “baptized churches of Christ,” (plural) we have reference to independent bodies of baptized believers gathered together for divine worship wherever they may exist. When we refer to the “baptized church of Christ,” (singular) we make reference to the aggregate number of God’s redeemed elect throughout time and space; that were represented in Christ when He was baptized by John, and are in that great body of Christ that will inhabit immortal glory in Christ their Head in eternity to come; or, to any individual church in a congregation of believers. We are not hereby stating that true churches of Christ must hold the same titles, and in fact they don’t. But by selecting this manner of speaking, we are conforming to the ancestral form the churches used in describing themselves before any of the modern “names” were given to modern denominations of the “Christian” faith.
When the first churches, later to be termed “Baptists,” separated from the Anglican, Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Congregational “churches of Christ,” which entities either poured water upon or sprinkled infants, these and those that went to the Dutch Anabaptists in Leyden, Netherlands, distinguished themselves from those Reformers simply as “baptized churches of Christ” or, “churches of Jesus Christ” as the “Anabaptists” also did. (See “Definitions” below. & Mr. John Robinson’s defense for “separating” from the Church of England, 1610). The first letters between these churches, addressed each other as “The baptized church of Christ at such and such place,” etc. The oldest collection of associated baptized churches of Christ in the United States was the Philadelphia Association, 1707.
The word “Baptist” is not found in their annual Minutes until 1758. Before then, we read only, “The elders and messengers of the baptized congregations,” in their annual Minutes. (See “Definitions” under “ecclesia”).
The writer is reminded of an interesting discovery while teaching American History at the high school level: When historians present the Temperance Movement, the students are led to believe that only drunks and bootleggers resisted the fair maids and effeminate men in pushing this benevolent cause! In no history book will a student find a defense for the Biblical position for the moderate use of the blessing of wine, nor any arguments for it. Yet Gilbert Beebe published his debate on that subject in the SIGNS OF THE TIMES during the rise of that fanatical movement [Editorials, Signs of the Times, Vol. 2, pages 146-243].
The same is true with the subjects of this book: All are led to believe that when Robert Raikes invented the Sunday School in 1780, (eighteen hundred years after Christ) all Baptists leaped on board with alacrity. Most New School Baptists believe Christ instituted it in the early church. Or, when Andrew Fuller organized the first Baptist Missionary Society as a “rope-holding society” for William Carey, in 1782, that no voices were raised against the innovation. New School or Missionary Baptists invariably write of itinerate ministers as “missionaries” in periods of history prior to the development of missionism. There is a very great difference between a itinerate preacher and a “missionary”! Baptists did not have any missionaries prior to Andrew Fuller.
Again, when the New Divinity leaders under William Rogers (who was the first in the American states to collect money for Mr. Fuller’s enterprise to the “Hindoos” in East Indies, 1794), “D. D.” Samuel Jones and William Staughton (who collected the first donation in a snuffbox for William Carey in Widow Wallis’ home in London when he was appointed a “missionary”by Andrew Fuller), gained control of the Philadelphia Baptist Association in 1800 to guide it into the development of an American Missionary Society (Baptist Board of Foreign and Domestic Missions, 1813-1815), that no whimpering objections were uttered! The fact that Baptists churches had nothing to do with either the creation of, nor activities of, the Baptist Missionary Society,” nor appointed William Carey as anything should alert the reader that something was amiss! Or, when the New Divinity Theory of Andrew Fuller, J.M. Pendleton, David Benedict, Martin and Reuben Ross, Isaac McCoy, and their co-conspirators was introduced denying that Christ had saved His people from their sins, but taught that He only “put all men into a savable state where the influence of the gospel could save them through preaching, printing, and persuasion,” the followers of such thought that none stood to oppose them!
Evangelicals would like for the reader to believe this, but it certainly is far from the facts of history!
This book opposes all such as listed above, plus more as found needful. May the reader seriously consider the discussion to follow herein. The writer invites the reader to pause, and ask himself these questions after each topic covered:
“Is this true? Is it important to me? What is the consequence(s) of it being neglected? Where do I stand? Or do I stand anywhere at all?”
May God bless writer and reader both to thoughtfully enter into this most important arena of theological exegesis.