The Grace Proclamator

and Promulgator

"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24

**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**


June 1, 1999

IN THIS ISSUE:

Baptist Giants of Past Years Speak on the Nature of  the Church

THE STUBBORNNESS OF BIBLICAL FACTS

Bouquets and Brickbats

PRAISE THE LORD

ANNOUNCEMENTS


Baptist Giants of Past Years Speak on the Nature of the Church

Part II

By Wayne Camp

 

B. H. Carroll

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I closed the last issue with this concerning B. H. Carroll.

This Baptist Giant was once asked about disfellowshipping those who held the universal church view. "Do you dis-fellowship your Baptist brethren who teach the present existence of ‘an universal, invisible, spiritual church’?" "Most certainly not so long as they duly honor the particular assembly and its ordinances, as multitudes of them do, in spite of the natural tendency of their theory to discredit it. Many of them, known to me personally, are devoted to the particular church and its ordinances, responsibilities and duties. It will take a wider divergence than this to make me disfellowship a Baptist brother, though I honestly and strongly hold that even on this point his theory is erroneous and tends practically to great harm."

B. H. Carroll has long been acclaimed a Baptist Giant. He was applauded as such by Eld. John Gilpin when he was editor of The Baptist Examiner. He was declared a Pillar of Orthodoxy by Dr. Benjamin Bogard in his book, Pillars of Orthodoxy. He has often been published and quoted as a great Baptist in Baptist papers for as long as I have been reading Baptist papers. Further, I don’t know of any Baptist who has been more often quoted on the local nature of the church. His 57 page book, Ecclesia-The Church, is a standard reference among those of us who hold to the local-church-only position. It was a real temptation to this editor to just print that entire book in as many issues of the paper as necessary.

Dr. Carroll’s local church doctrine is also found in his work on the Holy Spirit. In that he writes,

It is not concerning that church I speak now, but I speak of the church of Jesus Christ on earth, and when we speak of the church of Jesus Christ on earth, if we follow the Scriptural model, we shall never have any thought in our minds but a local congregation of Christ's baptized disciples. This text says, "In Christ Jesus all the building . . . groweth unto an holy temple ... for an habitation of God through the Spirit."

It is foreign to any thought of the Scriptures to speak of all professing Christians in the world as the Christian church. It is foreign to any Scriptural idea to speak of any denomination as the Christian church. There is never any association of two, three, four, or five, or any number of local organizations in order to express the idea of the church. But in time, and that is all we have before us, that other idea of the church, being now a mere concept—in time, we have to do with one thing only, and that is "each several building" for itself, entirely apart from any other in the world, not dependent upon any other in the world, by itself, alone, growing up unto an holy temple for an habitation of God through the Spirit. The local church groweth up unto a temple—not the church in this city, and the church in that city, and other churches, grow into a temple, but the local church groweth up unto an holy temple You must not combine them. You destroy the Scriptural idea if you do. The Scriptural thought is to make each local congregation an antitype of the temple, not all the local congregations an antitype of the temple, not all the local congregations combined, but each local congregation is to be an antitype of the temple. (The Holy Spirit, B. H. Carroll, P. 88, 89.)

Of the classic usage of the word, ECCLESIA, Carroll writes, Ecclesia. Primary meaning. An organized assembly of citizens, regularly summoned, as opposed to other meetings. (Ecclesia-The Church, P. 45).

Carroll rejected the idea of church referring a denomination such as the Lutheran "church." A number, be it small or great, of assemblies which meet in more than one place for services, in his view, could not be correctly called a church. He wrote,

Locality inheres in Ecclesia. There can be no assembly now or hereafter without a place to meet. When existing in fact, both the particular assembly in time, and the general assembly in eternity, are both visible and spiritual. Why attempt to distinguish by terms which do not distinguish? (Ecclesia-the Church, B. H. Carroll, Pp. 21-22).

He held that a local church is the only kind of church one can join in time.

Had I lived in the days of Moses I would have given undivided honor to the tabernacle – in the day of Solomon to the Temple alone – and when the general assembly comes, that shall be my delight. But living now I must honor the house that Jesus built. It is the house of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. To it are committed the oracles and promises of God. To it is given the great commission. It is the instructor of angels and in it throughout all the ages of time is the glory of God. If I move out of this house, I must remain houseless until Jesus comes. It is the only church you can join in time. (Ibid., Pp. 20-21).

Over the years I have asked unchurched people who claimed to be Christians and who claimed to be so spiritual, "Of what church are you a member?" On several occasions some have replied, "Oh, I am not a member of one of these local churches; I am a member of the big church." I asked, "Where does it assemble?" The response, "Uh, uh, well, it never meets?" And, there are several interesting questions that I usually follow with, but I say to each reader, "If you are not a member of a local, visible body, you are not a member of any church for it is the "only church you can join in time."

In this vein, Carroll said,

Do let it sink deep in your minds that the tabernacle of Moses had the exclusive right of way in its allotted time and the temple of Solomon had the exclusive right of way in its allotted time – so the church of Christ on earth, the particular assembly, now has the exclusive right of way and is without a rival on earth or in heaven – and so the general assembly in glory, when its allotted time arrives, will have exclusive right of way.

I must say a most hearty and enthusiastic "Amen!" to what Carroll says here, especially this, "The church of Christ on earth, the particular assembly, now has the exclusive right of way and is without a rival on earth or in heaven."

As was seen above, the idea of locality is inherent in the word ECCLESIA. There is no such thing, in Biblical parlance, of a church meeting in several localities.

A second idea that is inherent in the word ECCLESIA is that of organization. It implies an organized body. Once again, let Carroll speak for us on this matter,

Its primary meaning is: An organized assembly, whose members have been properly called out from private homes or business to attend to public affairs. This definition necessarily implies prescribed conditions of membership.

This meaning, substantially, applies alike to the ecclesia of a self-governing Greek state (Acts 19:39); (2) the Old Testament ecclesia or convocation of National Israel (Acts 7:38); and (3) to the New Testament ecclesia. (Ibid., P. 4).

And, Carroll also correctly declares that the word ECCLESIA also has in it the idea of assembly, or assembling. He writes,

When, in this lesson, our Lord says: "On this rock I will build MY ecclesia" while the "my" distinguished His ecclesia from the Greek state ecclesia and the Old Testament ecclesia, the word itself naturally retains its ordinary meaning.

Indeed, even when by accommodation, it is applied to an irregular gathering (Acts 19:32, 41) the essential idea of assembly remains. (Ibid., P. 4)

We have now seen that Dr. Carroll held that there are at least three ideas inherent in the world ECCLESIA—organization, location, and assembling. Even a group of Scripturally baptized believers is not qualified to be called a church unless it is organized, assembling for worship and service, and doing that assembling in a single locality. Or, as another has said,

"New Testament usage, secular usage and the Septuagint usage of the word "ecclesia" indicate it was only and always used of an organized, congregating body of people in a given locality." (Three Witnesses for the Baptists, Curtis Pugh, Page 93).

A study of Dr. Carroll’s book on the church will clearly and firmly establish these three things about the inherent ideas in the word ECCLESIA.

An ecclesia is only and always an organized body. There is no such thing as an ecclesia that is not organized. Organization is inherent in the word.

An ecclesia is only and always a congregating body; it must assemble together to be a church. Two or more groups of scripturally baptized believers regularly assembling in two or more places cannot be properly and scripturally called an ecclesia, or one church.

An ecclesia is only and always a body that congregates in a given locality; it is not a body that congregates in two, three, ten, or more given localities.

This correct meaning of the word can be substantiated over and over again from secular and classical usage, as Carroll also demonstrates. He writes,

Classic Use

Ecclesia. Primary meaning. An organized assembly of citizens, regularly summoned, as opposed to other meetings.

Thucydides 2:22: – "Pericles, seeing them angry at the present state of things... did not call them to an assembly (ecclesia) or any other meeting."

Demosthenes 378, 24: – "When after this the assembly (ecclesia) adjourned, they came together and planned... For the future still being uncertain, meetings and speeches of all sorts took place in the marketplace. They were afraid that an assembly (ecclesia) would be summoned suddenly, etc." Compare the distinction here between a lawfully assembled business body and a mere gathering together of the people in unofficial capacity, with the town-clerk's statement in Acts 19:35, 40.

Now some instances of the particular ecclesia of the several Greek states –

Thucydides 1,87: – "Having said such things, he himself, since he was ephor, put the question to vote in the assembly (ecclesia) of the Spartans."

Thucydides 1,139: – "And the Athenians having made a house (or called an assembly, ecclesia) freely exchanged their sentiments."

Aristophanes Act 169: – "But I forbid you calling an assembly (ecclesia) for the Thracians about pay."

Thucydides 6,8: – "And the Athenians having convened an assembly (ecclesia)... voted, etc."

Thucydides 6,2: – "And the Syracusans having buried their dead, summoned an assembly (ecclesia)."

As Carroll has so ably demonstrated, an ECCLESIA must be a local body assembling in a given locality. It must be an organized body assembling in a given locality. It cannot be an entire denomination. It is as much error to call the aggregate of Baptist churches The Baptist Church as it is to refer to any other aggregation of local bodies as a particular church. It cannot be all the saved of all the ages for some of them are in heaven and some on the earth and they never assemble. It is even a distortion of the word ECCLESIA, if Carroll is right in his book, to call two or three groups of baptized believers meeting in two or three separate localities a church. Even if one of them is an organized church, when another or more groups assembling in other localities are brought into the picture the word is distorted. For instance, Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church meets in the locality designated as 3084 Woodrow Street, Memphis, Tennessee. Suppose we start a work that assembles in a specific locality in Brazil and another that regularly assembles in a specific locality in Mexico. These folks have never and will never assemble at 3084 Woodrow Street, Memphis, TN. It would be a distortion of the word ecclesia, as defined by Bro. Carroll and others, to say that these three assemblies in aggregate compose Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church.

Let me remind the reader again of the following comments of Eld. Curtis Pugh after quoting B. H. Carroll on the meaning of the word ecclesia. He correctly said, "New Testament usage, secular usage and the Septuagint usage of the word "ecclesia" indicate it was only and always used of an organized, congregating body of people in a given locality." (Three Witnesses for the Baptists, Curtis Pugh, Page 93). There is absolutely no way in which this comment can be squared with an unorganized body of baptized believers being called a church. Nor can it be squared with a church meeting in one location and having other assemblies that meet elsewhere being treated as extensions of the given local church.

It is a perversion of the word ecclesia to use it to refer to all churches in aggregate. It is a perversion of the word ecclesia to refer to all Baptist churches in aggregate as the Baptist Church. And, forgive me brethren, but it is a perversion of the word ecclesia to refer to two, three, or more assemblies, regularly meeting in various localities as one ecclesia.

As Dr. Carroll says in another work,

The Baptists hold that the New Testament church is a particular congregation and not an organized denomination. According to the New Testament: "In Christ, each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord." Each congregation is a complete temple in itself, and has final jurisdiction over all its affairs. This is the church, to which grievances must be told, and whose decision is final. (Matt. 18: 15-18.) (Distinctive Baptist Principles, P. 27).

When referring to the generic or abstract use of the word ECCLESIA, Carroll wrote, ". . . whenever the abstract or generic finds concrete expression, or takes operative shape, it is always a particular assembly."

A PARTICULAR ASSEMBLY! A church is always a particular assembly. Not a particular group of assemblies, such as Baptist assemblies composing The Baptist Church, but a particular assembly. A particular assembly which assembles together. A particular assembly which assembles together in a given locality. That is the New Testament concept which B. H. Carroll, that Baptist Giant of past years, set forth. And, that is the concept held by this editor and the church he joyfully pastors.

 


THE STUBBORNNESS OF BIBLICAL FACTS

By Wayne Camp

 

In the May issue we were discussing some stubborn facts about salvation. How some people do love to twist and turn and wrest the Scripture to avoid the stubborn Biblical facts concerning salvation. Now, let us notice that,

This God-Wrought Salvation is Eternal

Still another stubborn fact about this God-wrought salvation is that it is eternal and no one to whom God gives it shall ever perish but will persevere. NOTE: When I speak of "the believer" in these next points, I am speaking of that regenerated person to whom God has granted the faith to lay hold of Jesus Christ. The preservation and perseverance of the saints is a doctrine well established in Scripture. Let me list some things concerning the true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, the believer has eternal life and shall never perish. John 3:15-16 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Second, the believer has passed from death unto life and shall never come into condemnation. John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Third, the believer was given to Christ, has come to Christ, and will never be cast out by Christ. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Fourth, the believer has heard the voice of his great Shepherd, has been given eternal life, shall never perish because he is held securely in the hand of the Father and the Son. John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.

Fifth, because our great High Priest, the risen and ascended Christ, has an unchanging priesthood, he is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him. Hebrews 7:24-25 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Sixth, the true believer can never be lost because there is no condemnation for him. He shall not come into condemnation. John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. He is in Christ and there is for him, therefore, no condemnation. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Seventh, the true believer is hid with Christ in God and cannot, therefore, be lost. Colossians 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Eighth, the true believer is preserved in Christ and cannot be lost. Jude 1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.

Ninth, Jesus Christ will perfectly fulfill the will of the Father and will, therefore, not lose any of those given to him by the Father. John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

Tenth, Jesus has prayed for the Father to keep those given to him and he never prayed outside the will of his Father. John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

Moreover, Jesus has willed and determined that all those given to him by the Father be with him in glory to behold his glory and his will is certain to be accomplished. John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

We shall be kept from falling because we are kept by the power of God rather than by our own power. 1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

The believer can never be cast into hell because the saying of Scripture must be fulfilled. John 18:9 That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.

The believer can never be lost in hell because he is a saint and God keeps the feet of his saints. 1 Samuel 2:9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

The believer can never be lost for he has been made the righteousness of God in Christ and he will persevere; he will hold on his way. Job 17:9 The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.

The believer can never be lost in the torments of hell because he will never be forsaken by God and is preserved forever. Psalm 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

The believer can never end up in torment because his steps are ordered by the Lord and even if he stumbles, he will not be utterly cast down to hell. Psalm 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

The child of God can never be cast down into everlasting destruction from the presence of God because God surrounds him as an impregnable fortress and he shall abide forever. Psalm 125:1-2 They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. 2 As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.

Those who have truly been justified by God's grace, though imperfect now, will persevere in a life characterized but godliness. Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

The true believer may fall many times but he will rise up again and persevere. Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

The child of God will never perish because his righteousness is of God and no weapon that Satan may form can prosper against him. Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

The believer will never perish because God will not turn away from us to do us good and he will put his fear in our hearts so that we will not depart from him. Jeremiah 32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

The believer will never perish for we have been loved with an everlasting love and the same loving kindness which drew us to him originally continues to draw us to him. Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

The believer shall never perish because the good work which God started in us in regeneration and conversion will continue to full fruition in glorification. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

The believer shall never perish because the one whom we have trusted is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory. Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.

We shall never be lost in hell for our Savior is fully able to keep that which we committed to him. 2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

We shall never perish because God has made a covenant with his Jesus Christ assuring him that he seed will endure forever. Psalm 89:27-36 Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. 28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. 29 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. 30 If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; 31 If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; 32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. 33 Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. 34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. 35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. 36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.

Much more could be said of the preservation of true believers but I will close by pointing out that God is for us and no one can so prevail against us as to cause us to be separated from the love of God which is in Christ. Romans 8:28-39 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

A SUMMARY OF ROMANS 8:28-39

 All things work together for our good and we cannot, therefore be separated. God has set his electing love on us and nothing can separate us from that love. God has predestinated us to be conformed to the image of his Son and even Arminians admit that what God has predestined must come to pass. God has called us by his grace and we have already seen that all things work together for them who are the called according to his purpose. God has justified us and when God justifies no one can condemn. God has already glorified us in his mind and purpose and how can any be lost whom God has glorified. God is for us and no one can be against us. God unsparingly delivered up his Son for our salvation and will, therefore, with him freely gives us all that is needed for life and godliness. God has justified us and will not, therefore, accept any charge against us. Only Christ can condemn and he will never condemn one whom he has saved. Tribulation can never separate us. Distress can never separate us. Persecution can never separate us. Famine can never separate us. Nakedness can never separate us. Peril can never separate us. Sword can never separate us. We are more than conquerors and, therefore, can never be separated. Death, by whatever means it comes, can never separate us. Life, nothing in life, can separate us. Angels, holy or fallen, can never separate us. Demonic nor governmental principalities and powers can never separate us. Nothing present and nothing to come in the future can separate us. Nothing is so high that it could separate us. Nothing is so deep that it could separate us. There is simply no created thing which can separate us and that leaves only the blessed holy trinity of persons in the Godhead and they would never separate us.

God has justified us. Jesus has redeemed us. The Holy Spirit has regenerated and sealed us. There is nothing, absolutely nothing and no one who can separate us from the love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. When God saves a sinner, he does an eternal work. Much more could be said about this great salvation which God gives, but I must consider yet another stubborn biblical fact next time.


PRAISE THE LORD AND GLORY TO GOD!!

These are expressions that some "spiritual" people use rather freely and yet, they really do not praise nor glorify God. They just compose a spiritual fašade that sounds good to the one using them but mean little if anything to the hearers. C. H. Spurgeon wrote, "Facts about God are the best praise of God." The Psalmist wrote, "Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness." When Biblical writers wrote of glorifying and praising God they did so by speaking of his wonderful attributes, his mighty works, his marvelous grace and mercy, his loving kindness to men, and his wonderful, all-sufficient saving power through the Lord Jesus Christ. If you would praise and glorify God remember the words of Spurgeon,

"Facts about God are the best praise of God."


 Bouquets and Brickbats

MISSISSIPPI: I just wanted to let you know that the article "Preposterous Preterism" by Bro. Laurence Justice was the best I have ever read on the subject.

NEW MEXICO: You are doing a good job on the paper. Keep up the good work.

FLORIDA: I enjoyed you paper this month, very interesting reading!

KENTUCKY: I receive your newsletter up in western Kentucky and it is a great blessing to me. I greatly enjoyed your last article on J. M. Pendleton and his views on the church. I know an interesting story about this that you may not be aware of. In 1963, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a new Confession of Faith that was updated by Hershel Hobbs. He just took the 1929 issue and changed a few things. One of the main changes was that an article on the universal church was added. Before it was all local church. There was discussion with just Brother Wendell H. Rone arguing for the local church only position. However in a surprise move, Hobbs read the article written by Pendleton on the universal church that you had in your paper. Hobbs said here was a Landmarker who believed in the universal church. Needless to say the vote passed by a 3 to 1 ratio. I thought this was interesting. Had you heard this story before? If not what did you think?

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I had not heard this story before. I knew that prior to 1963 only the local nature of the church was found in the SBC Confession of faith. As late as 1946 they published a study course book in which the author insisted there was no such thing as a universal, invisible church. In 1963 the Baptist Faith and Message was changed, as the Brother has noted, and the universal concept was officially adopted. The local nature was set forth first and then the universal. Since that time, other changes have been made which makes the universal concept superior to the local concept. I will try to get copies and show these changes before I finish the current study concerning the nature of the church. Thanks Dear Brother for this interesting and enlightening account.

WWW: Strong Wine and Powerful Blood. Amen!!!!!!!!!

MISSISSIPPI: I wanted to let you know that your last two papers have been excellent—MASTERPIECES!

USA: We do very much enjoy your paper.

NEW MEXICO: Keep up the good work on the paper.

WWW: My Mom is a minister and I have a tattoo on my arm that states The Lord is my Strength. I guess, according to you and your interpretation of scripture, we are making God a liar. Never have I seen the holy spirit move like it is moving through my Moms church right now. I also think of all the times a lost person has asked to see my tattoo and a deep spiritual conversation has ensued.

We are too few to hate over gender or how you think we should baptize people. Sometimes our biggest enemies can be ourselves.

EDITOR’S RESPONSE:

Dear Charles,

It is a matter of not bowing to the authority of the Word of God. God says plainly that a pastor is to be the husband of one wife. Is your mother the husband of one wife? God says that the pastor is to be the head of his house. Is your mother the head of your house if she is married and has a husband? Or is her husband the head of the house, as the Bible teaches.

The Word of God plainly teaches that women are to be silent in the church. Is your mother silent in the church? The Bible teaches unequivocally that women are not to teach nor usurp authority over men. Is you mother the pastor of this church you refer to as her church? Does she oversee the work of that church as a pastor is to do? How can she pastor without teaching and usurping authority over men? OR, IS THIS A MANLESS CHURCH?

There may be SOME spirit working in your mother's church but it is not the Holy Spirit. He would never stamp his approval on an organization that so disregards his word that it has a woman for a preacher/pastor.

Paul correctly describes your mother. II Cor. 11:13-14 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ, And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. —Wayne Camp—

Since sending this message to the gentleman, he has written back. He said, "After reviewing the subject of women being preachers by talking to both male and female pastors/theologians. I have found that their is far much more scriptural evidence on why women SHOULD be preachers."

He has promised to send me a lot of Scriptural evidence—so much that he says it will take him a week to condense it down—on why women should be preachers. I am waiting.

WWW: FOREKNOWLEDGE—A very good presentation of this crucial teaching of the Word of God. Keep up the good fight.

ARKANSAS: Just a note to express my appreciation for your Home page and the content of The GP&P. My neighbor was telling me about finding your Home page on the WWW. He said that this fellow by the name of Wayne Camp had some pretty good materiel on the Internet. I said that I knew you and had been using your site as a resource for years.

MICHIGAN: I enjoyed your article on J. M. Pendleton and his view of the church. Thanks for your paper.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This kind Brother also alerted me to the existence of a book called Landmarkism, Liberalism, and the Invisible Church by J. M. Pendleton, Judson Taylor and J. N. Hall; with An Introduction By J. B. Moody And An Appendix by J. R. Graves. He thought it might show that J. M. Pendleton renounced his belief in the universal, invisible church since he co-authored this book in which J. N. Hall refutes the idea of the invisible church. In researching the matter, I learned through the library at Furman University, Greenville, SC, that this book was published in 1899, eight years after the death of Pendleton in 1891. Whoever edited it, used his An Old Landmark Reset in it. But, Pendleton had absolutely nothing to do with the publication of this book, since he was dead eight years before it was published.

FURTHER NOTE: The librarian in charge of the Baptist History Archives at Furman is copying the book for me. I am writing this on the evening of June 1, 1999. I expect to have it in hand before this paper is published.

WWW: I find it terribly depressing to know that there are people in our world who are as closeminded as you. Everyone has a right to believe what they want to, though. That is what makes our world so wonderful. Please try to refrain from trying to judge. Homosexuality is not "vile", neither is any natural, sexual act concerning consenting adults.

GOD’S WORD ON THIS MATTER: Romans 1:26-27 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

OREGON: Pastor Camp: I just read your article on the Promise Keepers published in January, 1997. I appreciate your candid and forthright stand for truth. I also am very alarmed at the inroads Promise Keepers has made, and much of what James Dobson has taught has been outright blasphemy .Not many are willing to stand up and expose these deceptions as you have done. May the Lord be praised for granting you the conviction and courage to speak out.

ILLINOIS: Thank you for sending the paper to me for so long. I really have enjoyed it and so has a friend who lives across the hall. I am sending my new address and my friend’s. Since I am moving she will no longer be able to read my paper.

PENNSYLVANIA: Thank you for all the papers you have sent but it is time now to stop. We are getting close to 90 years old and can’t read lie we used to. With all the medical conditions we have, I don’t think we will be here for long. Thanks again, we enjoyed the papers. The one I liked best and have kept it, is the one on gambling.

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rwcamp@gpp-5grace.com

This page was last updated Friday, March 04, 2011

 

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