Saturday, February 11, 2006

Those Wacky Baptists and Baptism!

Apparently "Theo" aka Baptisttheologue has decided to comment before botherng to read Dagg. This quite amusing.

Quote: Gene, let's look at the clear wording of the 1963 and 2000 Baptist Faith and Message dealing with this subject:

"The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of
Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages." The key phrase
is "all the ages." This includes past, present, and future ages. Obviously,
the future is not yet here, and thus this church is not yet in existence.
The statement is describing the church in glory, not a hypothetical, invisible,
universal church of the present era. The redeemed of the future are not yet in
existence, and the church described as including all the redeemed of all the
ages is not yet in existence.

a. All the ages includes this one, Theo. That church certainly does exist now. If Christ returns in the next five minutes it exists now. The term "universal" church refers to all the elect in any given age at any level. You're conflating "universal church" with "church militant." This is a category error.

b. If you wish to interpret that line of the 2000 BFM, then it should be interpreted in its own historical context and by its author's intent.

c. The BFM did not contain this statement until 1963. At the time the SBC was formed the churches affirmed the Philadelphia Confession. It reads:

1. 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. (Heb. 12:23; Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:10, 22, 23, 5:23, 27,
I'd add that not all Southern Baptists affirm the 2000 BFM. Many affirm the 63. Many affirm the LCBF2 or LCBF1. Others affirm the New Hampshire Confession or even the BFM 25. The BFM 2000 is approved for use by the churches and the denominational agencies, it is not a universal standard for the churches.

d.. That context for the statement is Dr. Hershel Hobbs. Dr. Hobbs did NOT affirm Carroll's view of the "glory" church. To read that back into the BFM from 1963 and then 2000 you need to read it by what the author himself meant. In the Convention that year, when McAllen confronted him with Pendleton's statements in Convention and askd him about the use of the term "the redeemed of all ages", he stated simply, according to the Convention minutes, "Pendleton refers to the church in aggregate." So you can cry about it all you want, but Hobbs, not Carroll, is the lens through which to read this statement, and Hobbs believed as Dr. Dagg did. This is "the church in aggregate" period. It is not a reference to the "glory" church that B.H. Carroll articulated. It is a simple statement to which both those of us that affirm the universal church can agree and those like you who disaffirm it can agree. You may interpret it your way, and I may interpret it in my way. Hobbs wrote that confession so that different parties could agree to these statement and come at them with different perspectives. It is well known that the BFM is such a document. You are preseing it in a direction it is not intended to be pressed. When Hobbs made that comment, there was no more discussion and the article was passed unanimously. You'd be hard pressed to find a statement from the framers of the BFM 2000 that assert what you are asserting here.
The church in glory is a different concept from the "invisible, universal
In B.H. Carroll, not in Dagg. We're discussing Dagg, not Carroll. If you wish to discuss Carroll, go for it on your own blog.

The "invisible, universal church" is usually a reference to all Christians on earth at a particular point in time. This would leave out redeemed infants dying in infancy.

I have before me a text that reads very specifically that the invisible church is simply the fellowship of all genuine believers and can apply to any level, from the regenerate people in a local church to the regenerate people on at 2:28pm Sept. 24, 1040 or to the church at the end of the age as Carroll says in Baptist Church Polity on page 8. That same text points us to Hebrews and the joint worship of the saints on earth and in heaven at any given time the church on earth worships.

Other definitions:

There is a distinction to be drawn between the church as we humans see it and as
God alone can see it. This is the historic distinction between the “visible
church” and the “invisible church.” Invisible means, not that we can see no sign
of its presence, but that we cannot know (as God, the heart-reader, knows, 2
Tim. 2:19) which of those baptized, professing members of the church as an
organized institution are inwardly regenerate and thus belong to the church as a
spiritual fellowship of sinners loving their Savior. Jesus taught that in the
organized church there would always be people who thought they were Christians
and passed as Christians, some indeed becoming ministers, but who were not
renewed in heart and would therefore be exposed and rejected at the Judgment
(Matt. 7:15-27; 13:24-30, 36-43, 47-50; 25:1-46). The “visible-invisible”
distinction is drawn to take account of this. It is not that there are two
churches but that the visible community regularly contains imitation Christians
whom God knows not to be real (and who could know this for themselves if they
would, 2 Cor. 13:5). (JI Packer Concise Theology: A Guide To Historic Christian Beliefs )

The invisible Church of Christ is made up of all those who will be saved (the elect) from the foundation of the world until the return of Jesus Christ. We are all part of this invisible Church of Christ if we are saved. As the Westminster Confession of Faith defines the “invisible church” in contrast to the “visible church”:

“The catholic or universal Church, which is 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 fullness of Him that filleth all in all. (25.1) (Charles Biggs, "Forsaking Our Mother": Reclaiming Calvin's View of the Visible Church of Christ)


The "invisible, universal church" does not include physically dead people from the past or people from the future who do not yet exist.

The invisible, universal church includes all the elect. You are directly contradicted here by Wayne Grudem, "In speaking of the church as invisible the author of Hebrews speaks of the assembly (literally "chuch") of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven" (Heb. 12:23), and says that present day Christians join with that assembly in worship.

The church in glory is a different concept from the "invisible, universal church."
Dr. Dagg deals with the term "invisible church"

But the saints above and the saints below, make only one communion, one church;
and theologians, when they mean to distinguish these two parts of the one
whole from each other, are accustomed to call them the church militant and
the church triumphant. By the church invisible, they mean all true
Christians; and by the church visible, all those who profess the true
The invisible consists wholly of those who are sons of light;
and the visible includes sons of light and sons of darkness in one
community. We have seen that Christ does not recognise mere professors as
his disciples, and that he has taught us not so to recognise them. A
universal church, therefore, which consists of all who profess the true
religion, is a body which Christ does not own. To be visible saints, a holy
life must be superadded to a profession of the true religion; and they who
do not exhibit the light of a holy life, whatever their professions may be,
have no scriptural claim to be considered members of Christ'a church.
As to infants dying in infancy, this still comports with Dr. Dagg on this issue, since they would enter through sovereign regeneration. Dr Dagg will, in point of fact, discuss the union between the church triumphant and the church militant. Those of us here constitute the visible portion of the universal church. This is the church militant. Those who are dead now and in heaven are the church triumphant.

Without a doctrine of the universal church, you make the Romanist error. Local churches, despite Baptist ecclesiology, are composed of regenerate and unregenerate persons.

Regeneration admits one to the universal chuch.

It is not the door into the spiritual universal church; for men enter this
by regeneration, and are, therefore, members of it before they are fit subjects
for baptism. It is not the door into a local church; for, though it is a
prerequisite to membership, men may be baptized, and remain unconnected with any
local church.

Baptism admits you to the local church, but baptism, unless you affirm baptismal regeneration, does not guarantee you are regenerate. Ergo, local churches are visible churches, but the universal church militant is visible, but only to God, for only He knows of a certainty who is regenerate, and not all regenerate persons are, from the credo-baptist perspective part of visible, organized churches. The "invisible universal church" is comprised of the regenerate church militant and the church triumphant at any point in history.

Over at Jason Sampler's place, we find some interesting comments on Dr. Dagg:

First of all, I'd like to note that the whole of chapter 3 of Dagg is taken up explicating the doctrine of the universal church using Theodosia Ernest as his foil. I find it rather ironic that the one who denied the validity of the church universal at one blog would then use Dagg, who contradicts his own doctrine to support his doctrine.

Theo has now decided to use Dr. Dagg (thus the above comment by me) He writes:

"Admission to membership belongs to churches; but admission to baptism belongs
properly to the ministry. A single minister has the right to receive to baptism,
on his own responsibility; as is clear from the baptism of the eunoch by Philip,
when alone. But when a minister is officiating as pastor of a church, it is
expedient that they should unite their counsels in judging of a candidate's
qualifications; but the pastor ought to remember, that the responsibility of
receiving to baptism is properly his. The superior knowledge which he is
supposed to possess, and his office as the shepherd of the flock, and the
priority of baptism to church membership, all combine to render it necessary
that he first and chiefly should meet this responsibility, and act upon it in
fear of the Lord."

Yes, he does write that and he further devotes chapter 12 to these issues, the chapter from which you quoted.

"From the investigations in the preceding part of this work, we have
learned that a candidate has no right to baptize himself, or select his own
administrator, without regard to his being duly qualified according to the
divine will. The proper administrators are persons called of God to the
ministerial office, and introduced into it according to the order established by
the apostles. To such persons the candidate was bound to apply; and, if he
received the ordinance from any other, it was as if he had selected the
administrator at his own will, or had immersed himself. . . . Because when
church order has been destroyed, something unusual may be done to restore it, we
are not, on this account, justified in neglecting the regular order when it does
exist. Every church is bound to respect this order, and a candidate who has
failed to respect it in a former baptism, may, with a good conscience, proceed
anew to obey the Lord's command, in exact conformity to the divine requirement.
. . . By a wise provision the social tendency of Christianity is shown at the
very beginning of the Christian profession. The candidate cannot obey alone, but
he must seek an administrator to unite with him in the act of obedience, and by
this arrangement Christian fellowship begins with Christian profession. But that
two may walk together in this act of obedience, it is necessary that they should
be agreed. If the administrator and candidate differ widely in their views
respecting the nature and design of the ordinance, they cannot have fellowship
with each other in the service."

--This invites scrutiny of what was previous stated, does it not? Prior to the section you quoted, we find this:

With respect to rebaptism:

It has sometimes happened, that ministers have differed in their views; and a
candidate, whom one minister has refused to rebaptize, has been rebaptized by
another. In such cases, no breach of fellowship between the ministers occurs;
nor ought it to be allowed. In like manner, a difference of opinion may exist
between churches; and one church may admit without rebaptism, when another
church would require it. This difference should not disturb the kind intercourse
between the churches. But if the individual who has been received without
rebaptism, should seek to remove his membership to the church that deems
rebaptism necessary, the latter church has authority, as an independent body, to
reject him. --So, this is a local church issue and the several churches are free
to differ accordingly. No one church can tell another what its baptismal
practices shall be. Though some difference of opinion on these questions does
exist, and ought to be tolerated, yet every one should strive to learn his duty
respecting them, by a diligent study of the Holy Scriptures. The directions of
the inspired word are clear, so long as men keep in the prescribed way; but when
they have wandered from it, no surprise should be felt if the method of return
is not so clearly pointed out. Hence it arises that men who interpret the
express precepts of Christ alike, may, in applying them to perplexing cases,
differ in their judgment. In what follows I shall give my views, with deference
to those whose investigations have led them to a different conclusion.

.First, the ones of a differing conclusion, for Dagg are the Landmarks, for Theodosia Ernest is his foil in Chapter 3, and he goes to great lengths to contradict it. I have before me a copy of Baptist Theologians by Dockery and George and they agree. Second, what does he say here...differences are to be T O L E R A T E D .

What is the criterion for baptism according to Dagg?

Baptism was designed to be the ceremony of Christian profession. If, in the
first baptism, the candidate believed himself to be a Christian, and received
baptism on a credible profession of faith in Christ, no higher qualification can
be obtained for a second baptism. They to whom the administration of the ritehas
been committed, do not possess the power to search the heart. A credible
profession of faith, sincerely made, is all that fallible men can expect; and,
since the ordinance has been committed to fallible men, it is duly administered
on sincere and credible profession. Some confirmation of this view may be
derived from the case of Simon the sorcerer. Though baptized on profession of
faith, it was afterwards discovered that his heart was not right in the sight of
God. On making the discovery, Peter did not command him to repent and be
baptized, as he commanded the unbaptized on the day of Pentecost: but his
address was, "Repent, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be
forgiven thee."

---This is what we look to for baptism. The discussion on the IMB policies has to do with indexing baptism to eternal security. These missions candidates are already credo-baptized. For Dr. Dagg, a credible profession of faith alone is what is necessary for valid baptism, not adherence to a full scope of doctrines. This is very, very clear for him, and he very carefully notes that all Baptist local churches are full of both regenerate and baptized and unregenerate and baptized persons, so baptism doesn't guarantee orthodoxy, much less regeneracy. This is just an assumption we make based on that profession.

If, in the first baptism, the candidate believed himself to be a
Christian, and received baptism on a credible profession of faith in Christ, no
higher qualification can be obtained for a second baptism..
Dr. Dagg did not deny that Arminians are regenerate. Why then, if he believed a credible profession of faith is necessary for baptism, would anybody believe he would recommend that somebody credobaptized in a Free Will Baptist or Assemblies of God church that disaffirmed eternal security be rebaptized? That wouldn't make sense. Dr. Dagg was many things, a hyper-Calvinist was not one of them. If all the regenerate constitute the universal and visible church (Chapter 3 of his Manual), and he is not a hyper-Calvinist, then what possible logic can you pull from Dr. Dagg that would infer he would support the rebaptism of persons coming to us from Free Will Baptist churches or the Assemblies of God?

I'd add that Dr. Dagg believed in the perseverance of the saints not the version of eternal security that is so popular in a great many of our churches today. If one is going to invoke Dr. Dagg to support the IMB policies, then let him invoke what Dr. Dagg believed about that issue as well. Why say "eternal security' and not "perseverance of the saints?" One of those says you can bear no fruit and apostatize and still be counted as a true convert, so how exactly is "eternal security" in that form in any way reflected in baptism? Speaking for myself, that's not the version I want to see IMB candidates affirm, and if I'm going to be told by the IMB to look back at another church's doctrine for a person in my church, then that's a doctrine I reject, so why should I say that that doctrine is acceptable and disaffirmation of it is not? To be blunt, I reject "eternal security," and i reject "conditional security." I believe in perseverance of the saints.

A local church is to make the evaluation. The church cannot throw the question fully on the candidate or the administrator. Ministers have differed in their views on this. Ergo, there is variance in how this is done. The differences should not disturb the "kind intercourse" between the churches. One church can reject the member not rebaptized and require them to do so if they wish to join with them. However, they are not OBLIGATED, to do so. Notice the appeal to the local church itself. One looks in vain for anything that says that an ecclesiastical committee like a board of trustees can dictate baptismal practice and who to accept and not accept or baptize and rebaptize to a local church.

So, prior to the section from Chapter 12 quoted, we find that no one church can dicate policy on this to another, whatever its position might be, but the interesting thing here is that Dagg does not index eternal security to baptism nor does he say that churches are under obligation to agree with each other with respect to rebaptisms. He does not reject immersions by paedobaptists completely. He would reject *some* based on certain conditions, but not *all*, and this is for the local church to decide and variances are allowable between them.

In the very section quoted Dr. Dagg stops short of saying the candidate MUST be rebaptized. He says that it is up to the local church to decide. He would advise them to do so, from the look of his statements, but he would not mandate that a man be rebaptized. I certainly don't believe he would rebaptize a man who came from a general Baptist church. I'd ask where there is ever any writing to that effect within Southern Baptist history and theology? I don't think so.

Notice also these words:

Some Pedobaptist ministers will administer immersion
reluctantly, believing it to be an ineligible mode of baptism..."
Some, notice he does not say ALL. He says some, and it is this "some" about which he speaks. Take the PCA for example. In the Pacific NW, I am informed by a good friend who is a PCA Teaching Elder that, because there are no Reformed Baptist churches in the area, a great many have come into his church. Those that desire baptism, he baptizes accordingly, according to our doctrine. He does this affirming that the Westminster Confession and the 2LCBF differ, but, because he considers a Baptists convinction about his baptism strongly and knows they have no Baptist church which they believe themselves able to attend, he will gladly and happily help this brother obey the conclusions that he has reached about baptism. Would he, then qualify in this "some?" He is not "reluctant" at all.

Then he says: .

Pedobaptist ministers do not, in general, administer the rite as an emblem of
Christ's burial and resurrection.Note, he says "in general."
Not all. Moreover, I have before me a Presbyterian theology text (Reymond)that says it rejects appealing to the burial and resurrection of Christ in baptism with respect to the mode (immersion itself) because that is rightly found in the Lord's Supper, but it is the administration of the new covenant that is symbolized in baptism. While Dr. Dagg rightly rejects pouring, he does say that rebaptism bec. of previous pouring is not rightly called "baptism." Also, in Presbyterian theologies, you find that baptism seen as an administration of the covenant of grace, a covenant that is directly dependent on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for its administration. So, they do, in point of fact, include the cross and the (empty) tomb in the administration of baptism, and it certainly represents that when they baptize adults who are unbaptized after they have been converted.

It is high time that Presbyterians and Baptists quit talking past each other. Dr. Dagg, in my opinion, is mistaken, or his words apply to a different age, and Covenant Theology itself has been revised in the last century anyway. I'd add the WCF speaks of regeneration, ingrafting into Christ, remission of sins, and walking in newness of life. Before writing this, I checked several resources and found Presyberians contradicting what Dr. Dagg here says about them not viewing baptism as an emblem of Christ's resurrection and burial. They view it that way with respect to the administration of the covenant in a particular manner, but they apply to all, because they view children as included in the covenant. This is massively inconsistent to do this if you believe in effacious grace in the opinion of Baptists, and that is in a nutshell, why Reformed Baptists disagree with them.

Moving on...

Since when does the IMB board constitute a local church? Answer: It does not. According to the explication of the BFM 2000 by Southern Seminary's own faculty:

Boards and conventions are not the church; they are merely means to accomplish
the church’s mission. There is no Southern Baptist Church or Kentucky Baptist
Church. Conventions are the creation of the churches and subject to them. They
are large committees appointed by the churches.

Can the IMB reject the baptism of a local church that is recommending a baptized candidate for missions if the church has already declared their baptism valid? Can it dictate rebaptism to a local church, if the Board is not a local church? I think not.

Furthermore, the issue here isn't baptism for local church membership. The policy is not being applied to all church members . The issue here is about rebaptism not for church membership but for service on the mission field, the discharge of the duties of ministry, fulfillment of a call to serve and preach the gospel by a specfic person. Pointing to what Dagg says about baptism and rebaptism with respect for church membership is somewhat relevant, but not all that you need to examine. I don't think you'll find support for the IMB policies in Dagg when you consider that portion of Dagg. Baptism in the policy is being indexed to eternal security for missions candidates alone, not all church members. Thus, what Dr. Dagg says about the call to ministry is germaine to the issue.

Dr. Dagg clearly and unequivocably indexes a person's call to service not to his baptism, but to REGENERATION.

In Chapter III. we have investigated the Scripture doctrine concerning the
church universal. If we have not mistaken the divine teaching on the subject,
every man who is born of the Spirit is a member of this church. Regeneration,
not baptism, introduces him into it. The dogma that baptism initiates into
thechurch, and that those who are not baptized are not church-members, even if
they are Christians, denies the existence of this spiritual church, and
substitutes for it the visible church catholic of theologians. The evils
resulting from this unscriptural substitution, have been shown on pp. 132, 133.
They are sufficient to deter us from an inconsiderate admission of the dogma
from which they proceed. Later he writes:The lawfulness of inviting Pedobaptist
preachers into the pulpit, has been defended on the ground that any Christian
has the right to talk of Christ and his great salvation. Our Landmark brethren
admit that all have a right to make known the gospel privately, but deny that
any have the right to proclaim it publicly, except those who have been regularly
inducted into the ministerial office. The distinction between talking of Christ
privately and proclaiming his gospel publicly, appears to me to respect
obligation rather than right. If a Christian has a right to tell of Christ to a
fellow man who sits by his side, or walks in the highway with him, he has the
same right to address two in like manner, and, so far as I can see, he has an
equal right to address ten, a hundred, or a thousand. The obligation to exercise
this right is limited only by his ability to do good, and the opportunity which
Providence presents of using such talents as he possesses to the glory of God
and the benefit of immortal souls. A divine call to the work of the ministry
being always accompanied with qualifications for public usefulness, creates
obligation rather than confers right, as wealth creates obligation rather than
confers right, to relieve the poor.

Now, to defend the lawfulness of inviting a Pedobaptist preacher into the
pulpit, it has been deemed sufficient to maintain that the person so invited has
a right to talk of Christ to perishing men, and recommend his salvation to their
acceptance. The argument appears to me to be valid; but I have chosen to take
higher ground, and to maintain that many Pedobaptist ministers give convincing
proof that the Holy Spirit has called and qualified them to preach the gospel,
and that it is therefore not only their right, but their duty, to fulfil the
ministry which God has committed to them. The Landmark inquires for the
authority on which Pedobaptist preachers act. "If Pedobaptist societies are not
churches of Christ, whence do their ministers derive their authority to preach?
Is there any scriptural authority to preach which does not come through a church
of Christ? And if Pedobaptist ministers are not in Christian churches, have they
any right to preach? that is to say, have they any authority according to the
gospel? They are doubtless authorized by the forms and regulations of their
respective societies. But do they act under evangelical authority? It is
perfectly evident to the writer,that they do not."(23) We answer, that, if the
Holy Spirit has qualified men to preach the gospel, they preach it with divine
authority. The Holy Spirit, who divides to every man severally as he will, does
not give the necessary qualifications for the gospel ministry, without designing
that they shall be used; and since he only can give these qualifications, we are
sure that every man who possesses them, is bound, by the authority of God, to
use them to the end for which they are bestowed. We arrive at this conclusion,
aside from all reasoning about ceremonies and churches; and the proof brings
irresistible conviction. Here is a landmark of truth, which must not be
deserted, however much we may be perplexed with reasonings about outward forms.

The policies are not simply about indexing baptism to eternal security for church membership. They are indexing eternal security to baptism then indexing this to service on the mission field. If this was solely about indexing baptism and eternal security, they would be saying that all church members should be rebaptized, period. They do not. The policy is aimed solely at missionaries. So, if you're going to invoke Dr. Dagg, then what he says about a man's call to service is very germaine here.

These candidates today have already received credobaptism and have been active in their recommending churches, where they are already members in good standing, which by definition means those churches have already received their baptisms as valid for upwards of 3 years!

What does Dr. Dagg say? He says the churches are free to vary as to whose baptisms they will accept in these difficult cases and that the intercourse of churches should not suffer. He says no church has the right to dictate its baptism policy to another church, and the explantion of the BFM 2000 SBTS faculty denies that the boards have any authority over local churches; ditto for the Convention, so I would ask where the IMB thinks it gets the power or the right to tell me who I need to rebaptize or not rebaptize if I and my church recommend a missionary to them?

Why are other church members exempt and only missionaries named? This makes the guidelines quite arbitrary, and it invites scrutiny as to why baptism in a church affirming eternal security, even if (a) the individual is already testifying to the board that they affirm Article V of the BFM and (b) the recommending church affirms the doctrine and has already accepted this missionary candidate's baptism.

This is extremely important. Dagg explicitly states contrary to the Landmarks, that (a) there is a universal church; (b) he used the word church to refer to local assemblies without regard to denominational distinctives , and (c) un-credobaptized ministers are to be recognized as true ministers of the gospel, though erring. He rejects infant baptism. When he addresses the question of the rebaptism of those baptized by paedobaptists, he says not that there is a uniform practice, but that differences should be tolerated and no one church may dictate to another how to answer difficult situations. He lays out certain guidelines, but stops short of declaring the churches must adhere to them or rebaptize any person or accept each others baptisms or anybody elses for that matter. In addition, both the administrator and the candidate must be willing. If the candidate is satisfied with his baptism and his church is satisfied with it, then it would seem that the best another church could do is either reject the person and tell him to go elsewhere, but they cannot ever tell the sending church, "rebaptize him." Moreover, the only paedobaptist immersions he recommends rejecting are those in which the baptismal candidate himself (not the receiving church if you read him carefully) realizes the minister was doing so "reluctantly" or without regard to the cross,burial,and resurrection. History has shown this was not always the case, and it is not always the case today. He also says that sprinkling must be repeated with an immersion but is not rightly called baptism.

Most importantly, and most relevant here is the fact that he was not a hyper-Calvinist, and he very specifically says that a credible profession of faith is what is necessary for a candidate's baptism to be valid. How can any right thinking individual use Dr. Dagg to assert that he would approve of the new policy when he was not a hyper-Calvinist? Will you seriously argue that after saying that other ministers are to be considered true ministers and other churches are true churches and all the while not affirming only Calvinists are Christians Dr. Dagg would then say a person should be rebaptized (for service on the mission field) if they came from a Free Will Baptist Church? That would require that a person coming from said church not be able to give a credible profession and those in that church not be giving a credible profession and not be a true church, a premise he denies.

Most of all, Dr. Dagg says:

"Because we differ from other professors in our faith and practice
respecting the externals of religiion, we are under a constant temptation to
make too much account of these external peculiarities. Against this temptation,
we should ever struggle. If we magnify ceremonly unduly, we abandon our
principles, and cease to fulfill the mission to which the Head of the church has
assigned us." Treatise on Church Order 301-302.

Having said that, there are Baptists who connected eternal security to the validity of baptism.

Ben Stratton chimes in:

In J.R. Graves' book Trilemma, he has a chapter on why Free Will
Baptist immersions should be rejected. His first sentence deals with the eternal
security issue.

This actually worth noting. R.L. Vaughn notes, however, that those chapters appear in the 1881 edition, not the original edition from 1861. I think this is an important point, as Graves had a stroke in 1883 or 84, and, as it turns out Graves was not a very pleasant person when it came to his Landmarkism.

Dr. Graves, in 1858 was subject to a church trial at FBC Nashville, in which he was found guilty of slandering RBC Howell, the pastor; seeking to divide the church; using The Baptist to attack other Baptist leaders, publishing "sundry foul and atrocious libels," and uttering falsehoods in 9 specifications. He was placed under the discipline of the church and excluded from it. When the verdict was rendered, he and 46 of his followers at FBC Nashville declared that RBC Howell and the rest of FBC Nashville were not a true church and they decided to form their own church, which became known as State Street Baptist. At that time, they still called themselves the one true FBC Nashville.

In 1858, he gathered his supporters in Concord Association and, in so doing violated his own affirmation of local church autonomy in order to overturn FBC Nashville's decision. He also succeeded in persuading the TN Baptist Convention to not seat Howell's church at their state convention. At the 1859 Convention, the SBC itself seated both Grave's church, and despite Graves' efforts to persuade them to do otherwise, they seated FBC Nashville (Howell). On the first ballot, they reelected Howell as President. Then, they defeated the move by the Landmarks to dismantle the FMB.

This is not the behavior of a man, in my opinion, that says that he believed Free Will baptisms invalid were solely theological. This is the behavior of a man who would exclude those who disagreed with him about a great many thing, so his rejection of free willers is, to be blunt, an outgrowth of more than just theological convictions. Who of us would also declare RBC Howell's church wasn't a true church?

I'd add that the churches that formed the SBC in Augusta adhered to the Philadelphia Confession. What was the practice of Reformed Baptists at that time?

Even though B.H. Carroll became known as one of the 3 leaders of the anti-Whitsett movement, Carroll still opposed Hayden in Texas, and he did so on the basis that he believed Hayden's movement would only divide the BGCT and the SBC and directly threatened missions.

The SBC has consistently voted to facilitate the service of missionaries when Landmarkism in its forms has intersected with missions. Landmarkers have historically lost when their activity has intersected with the missions boards.

1 comment:

  1. Gene, you said,

    “I certainly don't believe he would rebaptize a man who came from a general Baptist church. I'd ask where there is ever any writing to that effect within Southern Baptist history and theology? I don't think so.”

    Yep. A general Baptist church is not of like faith and order with a Southern Baptist church. Notice the following quote from 1818:
    1818 LITTLE RIVER ASSOC. Query from the Salem church: "What shall be done in the reception of a member, dismissed from a church not in our faith and order, but he having faith in his baptism?" Answer: "We advise the church to receive him on a profession of his faith in Christ, and baptize him agreeably to our order" [p. 207].

    You also said,

    “He says no church has the right to dictate its baptism policy to another church, and the explanation of the BFM 2000 SBTS faculty denies that the boards have any authority over local churches; ditto for the Convention, so I would ask where the IMB thinks it gets the power or the right to tell me who I need to rebaptize or not rebaptize if I and my church recommend a missionary to them?”

    The IMB cannot force you or your church to rebaptize or do anything. The IMB can, however, refuse to hire you as a missionary. Local churches are autonomous. The members make decisions for the church. Associations, state conventions, and the national convention are also autonomous. Messengers from the churches make decisions for these groups. The IMB is an entity of the SBC, and the messengers have empowered it to decide who it will hire.