Baptists and Baptism

Below, you will find some quotes taken from one who is now the First Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and another from  a quote of a Regular Baptist who lived from 1788 – 1866.  These are and were devout Baptist preachers.

I received these from the Landmark Southern Baptist discussion group.  The parenthesis at the end of each quote is of the moderator of that group – Ben Stratton.

“I believe you have to have certain things in order to be a New Testament Church.    First of all you must preach, believe, adhere to as a congregation that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone including security of the believer.  I had a mega-church pastor chide me because I said that this was a qualifier for a New Testament church.  He said you’re ruling out a whole bunch of people when you add that security of believer.  I said that’s ok.  They may be fine Christian people and they may be going to heaven and may have a great time when they get together but they’re not a New Testament church because a New Testament church teaches salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone including security of the believer.  (This) makes it a New Testament Church.   Doesn’t have to have Baptist over the door but it does have to have Bible in its doctrine.  So that means also baptism by immersion of believers only.  You can’t sprinkle or pour and be a New Testament Church.   I’m not talking about getting to heaven, I’m talking about being faithful to the Word of God.”  Jim Richards.

(The above quote is from a sermon Jim Richards preached in the chapel at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas on November 01, 2006.  Richards is the executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas state Convention {SBTC}.  Notice that Richards contends that eternal security and believer’s immersion are two of the requirements for a group to be a true New Testament Church.  This is one of the reasons that Baptists reject the immersions of these groups.)

“A considerable congregation had gathered, and I delivered as plain and pointed a discourse, and as definite as I could.  I then explained the circumstances which had led to that appointment, and that I was authorized by the Bethel Church, of which I was a member, and which was located in the district of Cape Girardeau, to give an invitation to any persons wishing to be baptized and become members of the Bethel Regular Baptist Church.  I added that if they could give full and satisfactory evidence of the hope that was in them, I was ready and willing to baptize.  But I would wish all to understand, that the Baptists alone were by us considered a gospel church, and therefore they received none into their fellowship or communion, except on public profession of their faith in Christ, according to the doctrine of His grace. . . No probationers of six months, no infants who were sprinkled on the profession of their parents, nor any others but believers in Jesus Christ were received.  Therefore, all who joined this church must renounce alliance with all other denominations.  They should treat all men friendly as men, but have no communion or fellowship with any but the Baptist Church of Christ; for they should look upon all others as the daughters of mystic Babylon.  ’I have been thus particular, as I wish to deceive no one,’ said I.  ‘We wish to be understood to say, as did the Lord in reference to this “Mystery, Babylon” (if any of God’s people be ensnared by her), Come out of her my people, and be ye separated from her.”  Wilson Thompson

(Wilson Thompson (1788-1866) was a Regular Baptist preacher in Illinois.    The above quote is from pages 152-154 of “The Autobiography of Elder Wilson Thompson” published in 1867.  The time period for the quote is during the War of 1812.   Thompson like the majority of Baptists during that time believed that the Baptists alone were the only true church and that Baptists should not have any alliances with other denominations.   Because Thompson identified with the Primitive Baptists after the missions controversy (circa 1830) most Southern and Missionary Baptist historians have missed this source.  A special thanks to my good friend R. L. Vaughn of Texas for pointing it out to me.  He has an excellent website – Ministry and Music – Seeking the Old Paths

This was first posted at All Things Baptists June 30, 2007.

-T.A.