"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
In this Issue:
SALVATION BY GRACE EXECUTED AND APPLIED BY AN EFFECTUAL CALL
THE KIND OF OLD LANDMARKER I AM (Third in Series)
WHO WAS H. BOYCE TAYLOR?
Bouquets and Brickbats
THAILAND MISSIONS REPORT
SALVATION BY GRACE EXECUTED AND APPLIED BY AN EFFECTUAL CALL
Sixth In a Series
By Wayne Camp
“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”
In past studies in this series we have seen man's great need of the salvation that is by grace. We have established from Scripture that God did choose an innumerable multitude that he would save by grace and that Christ accomplished, every thing necessary to make atonement for all those given to him by the Father in the covenant of grace.
There remains a problem, however. Man is in such a state of depravity that he will not come to Christ of his own volition. He is in such a state of spiritual impotence that he cannot come to Christ.
How then can God save those whom he chose and gave to Christ? How can those for whom Christ shed the atoning blood of the everlasting covenant be brought to that precious fountain for the cleansing that is there? The answer is: “Salvation by grace is executed and applied by an effectual call.” By an effectual call I mean a call that cannot be successfully resisted. Every true believer in Jesus Christ is a monument to the truth that there is an effectual call.
THE NECESSITY OF AN EFFECTUAL CALL
The necessity of an effectual call lies in the extent to which the fallen were affected by that fall. It also lies in the consequent nature of fallen men and women. The enmity and spiritual impotence of man by nature must be overcome for him to come to Christ. I suggest that there are several reasons why an effectual call is necessary if men are to be saved.
THE UNWILLINGNESS OF MAN
Man by nature is unwilling to come to Christ. Something must be done to make him willing. When Moses went into Egypt the children of Israel were unwilling to leave and said to Moses and Aaron: “Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians” (Ex. 14:12.). God hardened the heart of Pharaoh through the different plagues. Pharaoh made things harder and harder on the Israelites. Finally, through the power and providence of God these people became willing to leave with Moses. When Israel entered the land of Canaan, the Canaanites were unwilling to leave and Israel could not make them leave. God promised Israel: “I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee, and I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee” (Ex. 23:28).
Did these hornets force these people to leave? Absolutely not! They certainly made them willing to go very quickly!
The unwilling sinner is not forced to come to Christ kicking in rebellion. Not one has ever been saved against his will. The invitation is true: “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17). Who will will to come to Christ? “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power,” declared the Psalmist (Psa. 110:3). “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest and causest to approach unto thee,” he wrote again (Psa. 65:4). Our Baptist forefathers used to sing:
“Why was I made to hear his voice,
And enter while there's room?
While thousands make a wretched choice
And rather starve than come.”
“Twas the same love that spread the feast,
Which sweetly forced me in,
Else I had still refused to taste,
And perished in my sin.”
I am reminded of the Shulamite maiden who said: “Draw me, we will run after thee . . . He brought me to his banqueting house, and his banner over me was love”. (Song 1:4; 2:4). She had been conquered by love. When God, in elective love, reaches out to the unwilling sinner, that sinner is “made willing” by divine power. The man whom God chooses is caused “to approach unto” Jesus Christ (Psa. 65:4).
THE INABILITY OF MAN
Man's unwillingness to come to Christ is just one aspect of his problem. He is also incapable of coming to Christ. No unwilling person is capable of coming to Christ. He is in such a state of spiritual impotence that it is impossible for him to even will to make a step toward Christ. Jesus declared: “No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (Jn. 6:44). The Greek word for “draw” in this verse means, “to draw as drawing in a net.” The word translated “can” is DUNATAI (dunatai) and means “is able.” No man “is able” to come to Christ unless drawn like a net by the Father. The idea of the word “draw” as used here is further illustrated in Acts 16:19: “And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers.” This drawing is an effectual drawing to Christ.
Man is in such a state of impotence that he is incapable of obeying the laws of God or pleasing God. Of this problem Paul wrote: “The carnalmind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:7-8). Jesus declared: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (Jn. 3:6). Since that born of the flesh is flesh a person cannot be subject to the law of God and cannot please God we are correct in declaring man's inability in spiritual matters. His only hope is the regenerating power of God. An effectual call that gives him the ability to come to Christ is essential.
Salvation involves a drastic and monumental change in a man and the unregenerate man is incapable of bringing this change about. He can no more change his nature and his ways than an Ethiopian can change his skin or a leopard his spots. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil” (Jer. 13:23). If the Ethiopian could of his own will and volition change his skin, then we might have grounds to believe that one with an unregenerate nature might be able to initiate a change in his nature. If a leopard could will a change in his spots then we could, at least, consider that there might be the possibility that a man with an unregenerate heart and a carnal mind could will a change in his nature.
If a man who is short could will himself tall; if a man could will a change in his sex and he would become a woman; if a man who has a low state of mental ability could will himself to be a smart man, then we might have grounds to ask if man cannot will spiritual discernment for himself. If a man who is physically dead could will himself physically alive, then there might be grounds for us to believe that one who is spiritually dead might will himself spiritually alive but “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:16).
THE CLOSED HEART OF MAN
Another reason that an effectual call is absolutely necessary is the closed heart of the natural man. The heart of the natural man “is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9). This wicked and deceitful heart is closed to spiritual truth and to the gospel of Jesus Christ. “And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul” (Acts 16:14).
THE LOVE MAN HAS FOR GLORY
Man, by nature, loves to glorify himself. He is greedy for glory and is adverse to a way of salvation that gives all the glory to God. Salvation is by grace and all the glory belongs to God. Salvation in its every aspect, from election to glorification, has its source entirely from divine grace. It does not stand on the “good or evil” which we have done but is all of grace “that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth” (Rom. 9:11). Men will not receive the gracious salvation of God unless they are effectually called and granted repentance and faith.
THE FACT OF AN EFFECTUAL CALL
The Scriptures often infer that there is an effectual call. The preaching of the prophets inferred that there is an effectual call to salvation. “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, after this will I return, and will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord” (Acts 15:13-18). The Lord here, through the prophets quoted by James, clearly inferred that there is an effectual call. He would visit the Gentiles. He would take out of them a people for his name. These would be the ones “upon whom my name is called.”
On the first Pentecost after the crucifixion of Christ Peter inferred that there is an effectual call. He spoke of the promise of the Holy Spirit and declared, “The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:3-9). Peter very clearly limits this promise to “as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Evidently Peter believed that there is a call that goes out to some men that is more than just preaching the gospel. That call results in their receiving the Holy Spirit. If all men are called in the manner of which Peter spoke one wonders why the Holy Spirit had him to qualify his declaration that the promise is to “all them that are afar off” with the qualifying clause “even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
The Psalmist implied there is an effectual call that goes out to the elect people of God that renders them willing to come to Christ. He wrote: “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power” (Psa. 110:3). We discover who his people are who are made willing when we read Psalm 65:4: “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causeth to approach unto thee” (Psa. 65:4).
Jesus repeatedly inferred that there is an effectual call that causes those called to come to Christ. He confidently affirmed: “All that the Father giveth me shall come unto me” (Jn. 6:37). He was certain that everyone whom the Father had given unto him in the covenant of redemption would come to him because it would be “given unto” them by the Father to do so (Jn. 6:37, 63-65).
The inference of an effectual call is even stronger in another declaration of Jesus. Our Lord said: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (Jn. 10:16). Jesus did not say: “Maybe these sheep will hear my voice.” He did not say: “I hope these other sheep will hear my voice.” He said: “I must bring” these other sheep into the fold and he also declared: “They shall hear my voice.”
Before someone makes the mistake of saying, as one distinguished doctor did, that only saved people are called sheep in the Scriptures, please consider these words of Jesus: “I am not sent but the LOST SHEEP of the house of Israel” (Matt. 15:24). When Jesus sent forth the twelve to preach the gospel he instructed them: “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the LOST SHEEP of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:5-6). One should also consider the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15 and the lessons it teaches.
Jesus also declared: “My sheep hear my voice.” This again is a strong inference that there is an effectual call that goes to Christ's lost sheep. He goes after his lost sheep “until he find it,” puts it on his shoulders and brings it home, then calls his neighbors to rejoice with him saying: “I have found my sheep which was lost” (Lu. 15:4-6).
Paul also inferred that there is an effectual call. Probably, this is more than an inference. It is very clear that there is a call that results in the justification of the called ones. “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified them he also glorified” (Rom. 8:30). The late Dr. E. C. Gillentine, wrote, “Observe this does not read ‘invited,’ but given a Divine elective calling according to His purpose, called by His Word and Spirit.” He further wrote: “All that were predestinated were called; all that were called were justified, saved . . . All that were justified were or will be glorified” (Outline Studies in Romans, Baptist Sunday School Committee, The American Baptist Association, p. 78). Dr. Gillentine believed in an effectual call for sure. “All that were called were justified, saved,” he wrote.
(To Be Continued Next Issue)
THE KIND OF OLD LANDMARKER I AM
(Third in a series)
I am the kind of Old Landmarker who believes in a truly local church and only in the local church. I believe that to be truly local, a church must assemble in one place. Acts 2:1 . . . they were all with one accord in one place. 1 Corinthians 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place . . .1 Corinthians 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place . . .
I have set forth two witnesses that show that this concept of the true New Testament type of ecclesia is a foundational principle of Old Landmarkism. That principle is clearly stated by my first witness. “The ecclesia of the New Testament could, and was required to assemble in one place.”
In this article and in all future articles on this subject, I will remind you of the witnesses I have already called to confirm that my position is that of true Old Landmarkism.
WITNESS 1: James Robinson Graves
“The ecclesia of the New Testament could, and was required to assemble in one place.”
WITNESS 2: Elton Wilson
“How local is the local church? IT IS LOCAL ENOUGH TO ASSEMBLE. How local is the local church? IT IS LOCAL ENOUGH TO OBSERVE THE LORD'S SUPPER.”
And now I call as
WITNESS 3: H. Boyce Taylor
“Our first reason for contending that the word ekklesia never means any thing but an organized and an assembling church is that the Lord Jesus, who is the author of the Book of Revelation, uses the word ekklesia 20 times in Revelation and every time He uses it, He refers to a local organized and assembling church.”
The following from this witness was originally published in News and Truth, April 6, 1932, Murray, KY. It was reprinted in The Berea Baptist Banner, May 5, 1991. It is evident from this article and other material by Bro. Boyce Taylor that he held that the true New Testament type of ecclesia was a local, organized, and assembling congregation.
Bro. Taylor declared,
We maintain that in all and every place where it is found in the New Testament, whether used of Israel in the wilderness or of the church of the Firstborn in Heaven or the citizens of Ephesus or of a New Testament church, it always and every where refers to an organized assembly. Its two fundamental and "essential ideas are organization and assembly". We think we have good and sufficient reasons for maintaining that position. Our readers will have to be the jury to render a verdict as to whether our contention will hold.
Taylor, in the paragraph above said of the word ecclesia, “Its two fundamental and essential ideas are organization and assembly". Organization and assembly, says Taylor, are the two fundamental and essential ideas found in the word ecclesia. That being true, and I believe it is definitely true, a fundamental of Old Landmarkism is that a true New Testament type of ecclesia is one that is organized and assembles. The meaning of “assembly” is clear. It means 1: a gathering of persons: meeting 2 cap: a legislative body; esp: the lower house of a legislature 3: a signal for troops to assemble 4: the fitting together of parts (as of a machine) (c)2000 Zane Publishing, Inc. and Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
Bro. Taylor’s definition of ecclesia lays the ax at the root of the universal invisible church theory. It lays the ax to the root of the universal visible church theory. It lays the ax to the root of the “branch” church theory. And, it lays the ax to the root of the concept that two or more groups of baptized believers who meet in two or more places regularly and do not regularly assemble together in one congregation for preaching, worship, observance of the ordinances, and other scriptural church business can still call themselves a true New Testament type of ecclesia.
Bro. Taylor continues,
1. Our first reason for contending that the word ekklesia never means any thing but an organized and an assembling church is that the Lord Jesus, who is the author of the Book of Revelation, uses the word ekklesia 20 times in Revelation and every time He uses it, He refers to a local organized and assembling church. Seven times He uses it in the singular in naming the seven churches of Asia. Thirteen times He uses it in the plural referring to these seven churches and their successors. Whenever He spoke of a larger group than a local church He always used it in the plural.
I must emphasize again what this Old Landmarker said in the paragraph just above concerning the nature of a true NT type of ecclesia. “The word ekklesia never means any thing but an organized and an assembling church.” Bro. Taylor did not say that the word ecclesia or ekklesia SELDOM means any thing but an organized and an assembling church. He said that it “NEVER means any thing but an organized and an assembling church.”
Let me say right here, “That is the kind of Old Landmarker I am.”
But our second witness continues by calling the very respected Baptist scholar, B. H. Carroll. He wrote,
2. B. H. Carroll for many years a teacher at Baylor University and later the founder of the Southwestern Theological Seminary, in a newspaper controversy with W. J. McClothlin as to the meaning of the word ekklesia, says: "The proposed new sense (of the word ekklesia) destroys the essential ideas of the old word, namely, organization and assembly, and would leave Christ without an institution, an official business body on this earth. Our Lord Himself uses the word 23 times--once in Matthew 16; twice in Matthew 18; and 20 times in Revelation. These 23 instances settle the meaning of the word."
Bro. Carroll says that the essential ideas of the word ecclesia are “organization and assembly.”
Bro. Taylor calls another witness whom we will call in a later article. Bro. Taylor continues further by calling T. T. Eaton, another Old Landmarker.
3. Back in the days when T. T. Eaton was the editor of the Western Recorder, in discussing with the "invisiblisticists" the meaning of the word ekklesia in Matthew 16:18 he gives these seven reasons for saying the church Jesus built was a local church.
(1). That is the meaning of the word "Ekklesia."
(2). That is Christ's universal usage of the word.
(3). That is the only meaning that would have been understood by the Apostles.
(4). That is the only kind of church recognized in the New Testament.
(5). That is the only kind of church to which the promise has been fulfilled.
(6). That is the only kind of church adapted to human nature.
(7). That is the only kind that is suited to preach a pure Gospel.
Bro. T. T. Eaton was an Old Landmarker, if I am not mistaken. He too held that a church must be local, really local, to meet the qualifications for being a true NT type of assembly. He argued that the local church is the only kind recognized in the New Testament. No universal church, visible or invisible, no great church with branches here and there in the world, no “church” that assembles in two or more places, sometimes in two or more nations and never assembles as one congregation, one body, meets the Landmark criteria for being a true New Testament type of ecclesia.
Bro. Taylor continues again with yet another witness. He writes,
4. Prof. H. E. Dana of the Fort Worth Seminary in his book, Christ's Ekklesia, page 23 says: "There were in the classical use of this term four elements pertinent to its New Testament meaning: (1) the assembly was local; (2) it was autonomous; (3) it pre-supposed definite qualifications; (4) it was conducted on democratic principles".
Notice, Dear Reader, that every witness called by Bro. Taylor affirms that a true NT type of ecclesia in a local assembly. A congregation that assembles in one locality, not two localities in two different cities, two different states, or two different countries. Rather, a true ecclesia of the NT type was organized and regularly assembled in one place. The church at Jerusalem assembled in one place. Acts 2:1 . . . they were all with one accord in one place. The church in Corinth came together in one place. 1 Corinthians 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place . . .
With the NT type of ecclesia, the whole church could come together to decide a matter as did the church in Antioch. Acts 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church . . . The whole church in a given locality could send salutations to another church in another given locality. Romans 16:23 Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. In a NT type of ecclesia the whole church would assemble in one place. 1 Corinthians 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place . . .
The churches of the New Testament came together even when there were divisions among them. 1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church . . . When a “church” meets in more than one place for worship and service there is always division. There is division in locality. There is division in the worship. There is division in service. There is division in visibility. There is division in singing. There is division in giving. There is division in preaching. There is division in teaching. Such a divided “church” could not obey this admonition of the Holy Spirit through Paul. 1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Bro. Taylor goes on with another witness.
5. Probably the Rotherham translation of the Scriptures is one of the best and most accurate of all the versions. In the appendix on page 268, in giving his reasons why he uniformly translates the word ekklesia by the word assembly, he says: "It is well known that the Greek word for 'Church' is ekklesia, and that ekklesia strictly and fully means 'called-out-assembly."' The very fact that Mr. Rotherham uniformly translates the word ekklesia assembly throughout the New Testament is the very strongest proof possible that he thought the word ekklesia meant only an "organized and assembling" body.
Please note the comment of Bro. Taylor concerning Mr. Rotherham’s uniformly translating ecclesia assembly. Bro. Taylor says that this uniform translation “is the very strongest proof possible that he thought the word ekklesia meant only an ‘organized and assembling’ body.” Only a truly local ecclesia can meet this standard, a church meeting in one locality, not in two or more localities.
Bro. Taylor calls other witnesses to confirm his idea that a true NT type of church is one that assembles in one place for worship and service. He says,
6. Ramsey in St. Paul the Traveller says on page 124: "The term (ekklesia) originally implied the assembled constituted self-governing body like a free city".
There is no way that anyone could suggest that such an assembly as Ramsey mentions could assemble in more than one locality. It would be nonsensical foolishness to suppose such an assembled body as this could meet in more than one place at the same time. Remove all the prejudice and pre-conceived ideas from you mind for a moment and think. Is there any way that a church can truly be local if it meets in more than one locality? The word local means of, relating to, or occupying a particular place, serving a particular limited district. (c)2000 Zane Publishing, Inc. and Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. All rights reserved.) In the light of every definition of the word local that I have found, and in the light of the true meaning of ecclesia, there is no way a church can scripturally or correctly call itself local if its members assemble in groups in separate localities.
Bro. Taylor calls other witnesses to corroborate his testimony.
8. Prof. Royal of Wake Forest College, whom Southern Baptists never had a better teacher of Greek, when asked if he knew of any passage in classical Greek, where the word ekklesia was ever used of unassembled or unassembling persons, said: "I do not know of any such passage in classic Greek".
9. Joseph Cross, in his book, Coals From The Altar says this: "We hear much of the invisible church as contra-distinguished from the church visible. Of an invisible church in this world I know nothing: the Word of God says nothing: nor can anything of the kind exist, except in the brain of a heretic. The church is a body: but what sort of a body is that which can neither be seen nor identified? A body is an organism, occupying space and having a definite locality. A mere aggregation is not a body: there must be organization as well. A heap of heads, hands, feet and other members would not make a body: they must be united in a system, each in" its proper place and pervaded by a common life. So a collection of stones, bricks and timber would not be a house: the material must be built up together, in artistic order, adapted to utility. So a mass of roots, trunks and branches would not be a vine or a tree: the several parts must be developed according to the laws of nature from the same seed and nourished by the same sap."
Bro. Cross lends forceful testimony in support of my witness, Bro. Boyce Taylor. The entire quotation is powerful but these particular words stand out. “A body is an organism, occupying space and having a definite locality.” The local church is the body of Christ in whatever locality it may be located. Note that Cross does not say “localities” as would be the case if a true NT type of ecclesia could assemble in two or more locations such as Jerusalem and Antioch and Thessalonica. The notion that there was a local church in Jerusalem that had members that regularly assembled in Antioch flies in the face of such definitions of a true NT type of ecclesia. A church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a body, an organism that occupies space and has a “definite locality.”
Bro. Taylor next calls Bishop Hort, one of the publishers of the Wescott and Hort Greek Testament. Hort says that the “proper original of ekklesia” is not traceable to current usage. He then says that,
The Word ekklesia is always limited by Paul himself to a local organization which has a "corresponding unity of its own"; "each is a body of Christ and a sanctuary of God". By each he means each local church. Again he says: Paul uniformly speaks of the individual church "as a body of Christ"—I Cor. 12:27: "a virgin" —II Cor. 11:2: "a temple."—I Cor. 3:16.
Regardless of what you may think of Bishop Hort, can you find error in his interpretation and definition of the NT ecclesia? There is no way one can find a universal invisible church in this definition. Nor can one find a universal visible church there. Moreover, one cannot find the “branch of the church” doctrine in this definition. But, it is equally impossible to find the concept of a church regularly assembling in two or more separate assemblies in two or more places in Hort’s definition. It is simply not there.
Bro. Taylor calls one Jesse B. Thomas as his next corroborative witness. Bro. Taylor writes,
11. Jesse B. Thomas in his book, Church and Kingdom, calls attention to the fact that in John 2:19-21 Jesus calls His own body a temple. This involved both local and visible tangibility (II Pet. 1:16; I John 1:1). So building in Matthew 16:18. All these allusions, according to Mr. Thomas point irresistibly to a concrete organism. In Ephesians 2:21 (R. V.) the local church is spoken of as "each several building." "Fitly framed" refers to the local church as a building and "fly joined and compacted" as a body. The first in 2:21 and the latter in 4:16.
Bro. Taylor says that the allusions to a building, a temple, etc. point, according to Mr. Thomas, “irresistibly to a concrete organism.” The word concrete as used here means something that is solidly joined together. Thus, it would refer to a local congregation assembling in one definite locality. There is no way one could argue that the congregation in Antioch could be said to have been a part of the same concrete organism as the congregation in Jerusalem. There were too many miles separating them. Jerusalem did not even know for some time what was going on in Antioch. The notion that they were all—the assembly in Jerusalem and the assembly in Antioch—one concrete organism defies imagination and challenges the definition of a true NT type of ecclesia.
Bro. Taylor then calls, of all people, Alexander Campbell to support his testimony as to the meaning of ecclesia. He writes,
12. Alexander Campbell said in the Christian Baptist, p. 214: "Ekklesia literally signifies an assembly called out from others and is used among the Greeks, particularly the Athenians, for their popular assemblies, summoned by their chief magistrates and in which none but citizens had a right to sit. By inherent power it may be applied to any body of men called out and assembled in one place. If it ever loses the idea of calling out and assembling, it loses its principle features and its primitive use."
This is a powerful witness for Bro. Taylor and for this Old Landmarker as well. Read Campbell’s statement again. “By inherent power it (ekklesia) may be applied to any body of men called out and assembled in one place. If it ever loses the idea of calling out and assembling, it loses its principle features and its primitive use."
Bro. Taylor calls another Campbellite for who was of such stature among his brethren that at least one school is named for him. Taylor writes,
13. David Lipscombe in the Gospel Advocate Oct. 28,1926: "There is not the shadow of any universal church in the New Testament, nor is there the representation of a tangible church or of one that may be reached and associated with, save the local church". Again the same article Mr. Lipscombe says: "Just so, when speaking of things common to all churches, we say the church is the body of Christ, not meaning that all the churches are consolidated to make one body, but that each and every church is the body of Christ in its locality and what is common to all is affirmed of the church as of one body. This style of speech is common. This can be its only meaning. There is no development of the church of Christ in the world save in the local church. Paul uses this same general language of the church being the body of Christ to the church at Corinth that he does to the Colossians, Ephesians and others: 'Ye are the body of Christ and members in particular.' The church at Rome, the church at Ephesus, at Colosse, each was just as much `the body of Christ and members in particular' as the church at Corinth. The church at Jerusalem was a complete body of Christ before another church was established. It lost none of its completeness when other churches were planted. And every other church was as complete within itself as was this church at Jerusalem. Each church was in itself a complete body of Christ, without any reference to any other church or churches in existence.
Scholars testify that ekklesia was never used in classic Greek except of an assembled or assembling body. (Emphasis mine, Editor GPP). The two essential ideas in the word ekklesia are assembly and organization. Every illustration of a church in the New Testament, such as temple or house or body, makes the veriest of nonsense, if it is not assembled and organized. (Emp. Mine, RWC) The etymology of the word ekklesia makes it of necessity a local church. The grammatical construction of the passages where used can not be twisted to mean anything but a local church. Both Hort and Harnack testify that historically the word ekklesia was never used of anything but a local church, until long after the close of the New Testament. So you are on safe ground, when you say that the church, which as the body of Christ, is always a local Baptist church. Selah!!
Bro. Taylor has presented credible, even irrefutable evidence of that true Old Landmark position that was set forth so well by my first witness, Elder J. R. Graves, in Old Landmarkism when he said, “The ecclesia of the New Testament could, and was required to assemble in one place.”
Add to that the testimony of my second witness, Eld. Elton Wilson. “How local is the local church? IT IS LOCAL ENOUGH TO ASSEMBLE. How local is the local church? IT IS LOCAL ENOUGH TO OBSERVE THE LORD'S SUPPER.”
Add to that the testimony of my third witness, Elder Boyce Taylor, “The two essential ideas in the word ekklesia are assembly and organization. Every illustration of a church in the New Testament, such as temple or house or body, makes the veriest of nonsense, if it is not assembled and organized.”
“That is the kind of Old Landmarker I am!!!—Wayne Camp, Editor—
Who Was H. Boyce Taylor?
By Elder Ben Stratton
Harvey Boyce Taylor was born in Ohio, County, KY on September 29, 1870. He was a forth generation Kentucky Baptist preacher. Taylor was named for James P. Boyce, president of Southern Seminary from 1859 until 1888. He graduated with a B.A. and M.A. degree from Bethel College in Russellville in 1890 and from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville in 1896 with a Th. M. While in Louisville, Taylor studied under men such as John Broadus, A. T. Robertson and John Sampey. He was also influenced by his mentor in the ministry, T. T. Eaton, pastor of the Walnut Street Baptist Church in Louisville.
Taylor was the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Murray, KY from 1896 until 1931. While here, he was a strong supporter of missions and evangelism. When Taylor accepted this pastorate, the church membership stood at 127, yet when he left thirty-five years later, the membership stood at 524, in spite of the fact that he led the church to practice discipline during all his years as pastor. During this time, Taylor led the church members to knock on every door in Calloway County, handing out Christian literature and telling people about Christ. As a firm believer in foreign missions, Taylor led the Murray church to send and support several missionaries to Brazil. Taylor also led in the forming of the Amazon Valley Baptist Faith Mission, which later became Baptist Faith Mission. J.G. Love, Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board said Taylor was the "pastor of the greatest missionary church in the world." Taylor also led the Murray church, the Blood River Baptist Association and the General Association of Kentucky Baptists to adopt the "Unified Plan of Missions" which eventually become known as the Cooperative Program.
Taylor was very influential among Southern Baptists in Kentucky. He served on and chaired numerous committees, including the Board of Missions. In 1913, he preached the annual sermon to the General Association of Kentucky Baptists on the subject of "Kingdom Building". In 1917, Taylor was chosen as moderator of the General Association.
Taylor was a strong believer in the Baptist faith and did his best to help others understand the Baptist distinctives. In 1906, he started his own weekly Baptist paper, News and Truths, which continued until Taylor’s death in 1932 with a circulation reaching approximately 3,000. Each year the church hosted the Murray Bible Institute with great Baptist speakers such as A.W. Pink, T. T. Martin, and Arthur Flake. In 1921, Taylor started the West Kentucky Bible School to educate the preacher boys in the area, with nearly 400 students studying there during sixteen years of existence. While Taylor loved men of all denominational backgrounds, he loved the truth too well to compromise it and fellowship with error.
Bouquets and Brickbats
TEXAS: I read with great interest your writing in the last issue of the paper about Local Assembly. I agree with you and J. R. Graves and many other old "Landmarkers". In fact in my early church work in the Association the practice was to call for an associational preacher involved in mission work to meet with a group of people and organize a church in a particular place to do the Lord's work. I was in one of those meetings and a part of the newly organized church. Sometime later it seems that we evolved into a "mother" church concept. The reason given most often is that 'we must protect our investment'. My question is whose investment. I always thought the money spent in mission work was the Lord's investment and that He would protect it. In Texas we have lost two good churches in strategic places due to the sponsoring church, located elsewhere, decided the work wasn't profitable. Who are we to say what is of value to God. The people involved in the work at the locations had no say in the matter. They and the Lord should have had the last word. Just had to get it off my chest and I thought you might be a friendly ear. Thanks for the good word.
A little over a year ago we at __________ received five members into our membership and then released them to organize, which they did in our presence and with our blessing. They went home to Quero an organized church. They now number about 40 and going strong. It has all been between them and the Lord. He has blessed. I think we did right. They are not our mission, they are on God's mission.
WWW: I attend PK events and can't seem to find any fault with their teachings and being true Christians. Additionally, I have read your website with an open mind and cannot understand your views or any relevant points that you are trying to make. Nice try I guess.
ALABAMA: I appreciated your exposure of the error of some writer who claimed that immersion is not commanded in the New Testament. I read the article you were answering and wonder if you noticed that the author seemed to infer that sprinkling has more credence in New Testament doctrine than immersion? I refer to this statement he made, “However, the ‘direct command’ brethren might have to begin accepting sprinkling and pouring as a method of baptism since there is no ‘chapter and verse where God directly commands’ baptism by immersion.” His statement that those who ask for a chapter and verse for what is required for New Testament church organization might have to start accepting sprinkling and pouring since he says (erroneously) that there is no chapter and verse that commands immersion seems to indicate that sprinkling and pouring may be more clearly taught than immersion.
[Editor’s Note: I did notice that. But, since the entire statement was based on the fallacious and unscriptural notion that immersion is not commanded in the New Testament, I felt it was more important to deal with that error than the jibe about sprinkling and pouring.]
NEW MEXICO: Just received my GP&P this afternoon. Your article "Salvation by Grace Initiated" was a blessing and will be also to all who truly believe in the unfettered Sovereignty of God.
But I was also tickled to a little laughter by the "Dear Ron" letter. You sent a most challenging and kind reply. I think you stopped up his pen.
WWW: Was just last night introduced to your writings. I've found you on the net. Now, I've a lot of reading to do.
I appreciate both your content and your style. I have had some correspondence with this Bro. __________ and also a "Primitive" out West. Many of these men think like this: "We believe it to be true, therefore, it must be true. Although we can not prove it historically, according to our logic it must be historically true".
INDIANA: I have learned more about the hypocrisy of Promise Keepers from your periodical—especially the letters from its disciples—than from any other source.
NEW MEXICO: You’re teaching false doctrine with regard to women in ministry. Your views are not biblical but shaped by sinful culture.
WWW: Sir, I read your article on the internet listed in the "Big Bang" theory, pro and con. You are a man with a strong Christian faith, and I could easily see that you disagree with any Big Bang reasoning.
You do, however, mention Promise Keepers in your article. Mr. Camp, Promise Keepers is nothing more that a group of men expostulating the Christian faith, and how it helps them. Their overbundance of faith seems to evaporate very shortly after any of their meetings.
As for you trying to prove that God made everything, and a scientific theory of creationism cannot be accepted because of various bibical scripture, you are using a book that was written by men (a book that has been revised and edited many different times for many different faiths), and men are simply men, not Gods.
You can take as much scripture out of that book called the Bible as you want, but that book is as falible as the men that wrote it.
OKLAHOMA: I appreciate your efforts in trying to present straightforward logical "only scripture" arguments in your paper, because I know how hard it is to do, and I know that very few if any other papers do a very good job of it.
WWW: It seems to me you are not a christian and you don't do Christmas well ok but still Christ was born Christmas I should know I am a bible teacher and what you said my kids thinks its dum and Yes Christ is the answer and he gave us Christmas duh. (Go to Lower Part of Right Column, Next Page) So you might want to change your opioion but I know won't happen. I will pray for you and my kids in class so anyway Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
WWW: What a beautiful truth you have expounded on in your web page. I have one question to ask and maybe you can answer it for me. Since Christ was not born on DEC, 25th as some celebrate, do you think the month was either March or April? I came to this conclusion by looking at the book of Luke chapter one. In this chapter it talks about John the Baptist parents and the visitation by the angel Gabriel. The angel speaks of different months of Elisabeth pregnancy and from that you can add were Mary was at in her pregnancy. What do you think?
KENTUCKY: RE: Christmas: I am proud that you search and rightly divide the Word of truth. I'm glad to see that there are some people standing up for what they believe. I never gave this subject much thought. I did not grow up in church, and when I did finally go, no one bothered to address this issue, so I didn't know it was an issue. In fact, the only one with guts to even bring it up was a friend who was a Jehovah's Witness. I am not saying I agree with all they believe, but it made me reconsider this idea of Christmas. I knew there was some pagan holiday associated with it, but for some reason, never gave it much thought. My husband and I are having difficulty getting our traditional families to understand why we are not decorating this year and why we are not wanting presents. It's hard to explain to our nieces why for years we have given them gifts but this year we don't feel we should. Their parents aren't real thrilled about it. Our family loves the Lord, they are just having a hard time changing. Please keep us in your prayers! Thank you for your encouragement!
NEW JERSEY: I would like to acknowledge your truthfulness on the story of Christmas. I printed the article, took it to work, and created quite a stir among my coworkers and prisoners alike. I said prisoners because I am a correction officer at a prison in New Jersey and some prisoners I have encountered are spirit filled Christians who love the Lord and His word. If you can direct me to another article you may have written concerning that other so-called holiday in the spring, I would be most appreciative. "In Christ we Reign"
THAILAND MISSION REPORT
By Wayne Camp
As many of our readers know, along with Bro. Bill Lee, his wife, and Bro. Jack Green, I made a trip to Thailand in October. It was a very tiring trip but a very invigorating trip. I came home I had planned a detailed report in this month’s paper but due to the critical illness and death of my mother and surrounding events followed by the welcome visit of three of my sons and their families at Thanksgiving I have been unable to get that report together. God willing, I will have it ready for the January issue with a few pictures to be presented in that and following issues of the paper.
In the meantime, I am happy to report that there are new churches that will soon be established. Folks from other Lahu and Lisu villages have asked Bro. Anond Phoothaptim who is the missionary working with these churches to come and preach the gospel in their villages.
There are many needs. Bro. Anond often spends a good portion of the money he receives for personal support on the work. I will give more details about the work next issue, but do pray for this hard working and over extended missionary. Please be sure to watch for the article in the next issue.
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This page was last updated Friday, March 04, 2011