A Response to “101 Questions For Campbellites”

Introduction

In this article, I am setting out to answer the 101 questions put forth by Mr. A. A. Davis in his article “101 Questions for Campbellites,” which may be accessed by clicking here.

I desire that the reader will see that the answers to these questions are based upon the words of God in the Scriptures, and that they are a product of searching the Scriptures and seeing what things are so. Further, I desire that these answers may found to be a fulfillment of the command of Peter in 1 Peter 3:14-15:

But even if ye should suffer for righteousness’ sake, blessed are ye: and fear not their fear, neither be troubled; but sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear.

The Response

Before I begin answering the 101 questions, I would like to first point out the fallacy of the title and the explanation of what “Campbellites” are:

What are Campbellites? They are otherwise known as “The Church of Christ,” or “The Disciples of Christ,” and believe that Water Baptism is essential to salvation in Jesus Christ.

If one investigates the lesson on the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (available here) that I wrote as a part of my study of denominations, one will see that the majority of churches of Christ are as “Campbellite” as the Methodists are “Anglican” or the Anglicans are “Catholic.” The Campbells would not have agreed with the positions held by the majority of the members of the churches of Christ on many issues, and very little is spoken of concerning the Campbells in our discussions and teachings. Members of the church of Christ stand without the title “Campbellite,” unless, of course, the Baptists would like to start being known as Calvinists or some other inaccurate designation also.

Regardless, let us begin examining the questions asked and responding to them:

Question: Are YOU saved or Lost? See I Cor. 1:13. Rom 8:1.

Response: Let us examine the Scriptures provided, 1 Corinthians 1:13 and Romans 8:1:

Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized into the name of Paul?

There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.

Those who have obeyed Christ are most certainly saved, for we see in Romans 6:3-5 that those who have been buried with Christ Jesus have been raised in newness of life. The Scriptures make it evident, however, that our salvation is only guaranteed on the basis of our continual faithfulness to Christ, as seen in Matthew 10:22:

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.”

Therefore, we must conclude that we are saved as long as we remain faithful to Christ until the end.

Question: If saved, IS the love of God in YOUR HEART? See Rom. 5:5.

Response: Let us read Romans 5:5:

and hope putteth not to shame; because the love of God hath been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit which was given unto us.

I do not know of anyone who would raise an objection to believing that we have the love of God in us. John makes this evident in 1 John 3-4.

Question: If Saved, ARE you Born of God? I John 5:1

Response: 1 John 5:1 reads as follows:

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God: and whosoever loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

And these words are certainly true, for they speak of the “new birth” as seen further in John 3:5 and Romans 6:4:

Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God!”

We were buried therefore with Him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.

It is also highly interesting to note the means by which we receive newness of life: by being buried with Him through baptism!

Question: If Saved, Is Christ in You? Col. 1:27; 2 Cor. 13:5.

Response: Colossians 1:27 and 2 Corinthians 13:5:

to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves. Or know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed ye be reprobate.

I certainly do not deny that in some form Christ is in each Christian. The language is slightly different in Galatians 3:27:

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.

The message is the same, however: we are now a part of Christ, and therefore Christ should be a part of us.

Question: If you are Born of God, ARE you a Child of God? John 1:12; Rom. 8:16.

Response: John 1:12 and Romans 8:16:

But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on His name.

The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God.

We are certainly children of God if we do His will, as is seen in 1 John 3:23-24:

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as He gave us commandment. And he that keepeth His commandments abideth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He gave us.

Question: If a Child of God, do YOU have Eternal Life? John 10:27, 28.

Response: John 10:27-28:

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.”

We certainly have eternal life as long as we follow Christ and abide in His will. The verse above does not teach, nor does any other verse in the Bible teach, that regardless of our own actions we must be saved. Matthew 10:22 (quoted above) and many other verses show clearly that our salvation is conditional upon our obedience to Christ.

Question: Is Baptism a PART of the Gospel? I Cor. 1.17

Response: 1 Corinthians 1:17:

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made void.

I find it interesting that Mr. Davis has conveniently forgotten to quote here 1 Corinthians 1:15, which gives the reason for Paul’s statement in verse 17:

lest any man should say that ye were baptized into my name.

This is further alluded to in 1 Corinthians 1:13, discussed above by Mr. Davis. We see clearly from Acts 8:35-36 that baptism is assuredly part of the Gospel:

And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture, preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on the way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch saith, “Behold, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?”

Philip preached “unto him Jesus,” and the response of the eunuch was the desire to be immersed in water. Why would this be so unless the need for baptism was impressed upon this eunuch? Baptism was certainly a part of the Gospel preached by Paul, otherwise why would he have baptized the household of Stephanas, Crispus, and Gaius in Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:14, 16)? Paul merely did not desire to perform the actual act of baptism any further, fearing that many would believe that they were baptized “in Paul’s name.” This by no means negates the preaching of the need for baptism!

Question: Could a man without ARMS and Legs preach the Gospel Paul preached?

Response: Certainly. The Gospel can be preached by any man who understands the message of God and can communicate said message in some form.

Question: What is the Gospel Paul Preached? I Cor. 15:1-3.

Response: 1 Corinthians 15:1-3:

Now I make known unto you brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand, by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.

Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 15 to relate the events after Jesus’ resurrection, His ascension, His appearing to Paul, all in the attempt to prove to the Corinthians that the resurrection is valid and it will come to us all at
the end.

What is the Gospel Paul preached? We can see in Galatians 2:6-9 that it was the same Gospel as Peter, James, and John preached:

But from those who were reputed to be somewhat (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth not man’s person)– they, I say, who were of repute imparted nothing to me: but contrariwise, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, even as Peter with the gospel of the circumcision (for he that wrought for Peter unto the apostleship of the circumcision wrought for me also unto the Gentiles); and when they perceived the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the circumcision.

We know that Peter spoke of baptism in the Gospel he preached (Acts 2:38, Acts 10:47), and we can be sure therefore that the Gospel preached by all of the men in question included baptism, along with belief, confession, repentance, and the need to continually be faithful to Christ.

Question: Do you preach the Gospel Paul preached? Cor. 1:17 Rom. 1:16, 17; I Cor. 2:2.

Response: 1 Corinthians 1:17 has already been quoted and discussed; let us see Romans 1:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 2:2:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is revealed a righteousness of God from faith unto faith: as it is written, “But the righteous shall live by faith.”

For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

We have seen from earlier that the Gospel of Paul was the same Gospel preached by Peter, John, and James; we see in the letter of James to Christians that “faith” is nothing without works in James 2:14-17:

What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked and in lack of daily food, and one of you say unto them, “Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled;” and yet ye give them not the things needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself.

Therefore, I do affirm that the Gospel I preach is the same Gospel preached by Paul, Peter, James, and John.

Question: Is Baptism an act of SOVEREIGN GRACE performed by God or is it an act of righteousness on man’s part? Matt. 3:15; Titus 3:5.

Response: Let us first see Matthew 3:15 and Titus 3:5:

But Jesus answering said unto him, “Suffer it now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.”
Then he suffereth him.

not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

The answer to the question may not be found in either alternative given, for baptism is the response of an individual who sees his fallen condition and recognizes the need to be made right with God, to receive the grace of God given freely to all men, the remission of sin thanks to the sacrifice of the Son. We cannot perform any work that in and of itself allows for salvation: the work has been done by Christ. We can and must, however, accept the work done for us by Christ through obeying Him, and a part of obedience to Christ is being immersed in water for the remission of sin, as is explained in Acts 2:38 and Romans 6:3-5:

And Peter said unto them, “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.

Therefore, baptism is not a work of God nor a work of righteousness: it is the act explained in the Scriptures that demonstrates the acceptance of the work done by Christ on our behalf and the commitment to continually abide by His precepts.

Question: Were you redeemed by the precious waters of Baptism or by the precious BLOOD of Jesus Christ? I Peter 1 :18,19.

Response: 1 Peter 1:18-19:

knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers; but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, even the blood of Christ.

It is certainly not denied that we believe that we are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. The question that we ask is, “how do we come into contact with that precious blood of Jesus Christ?” I believe the answer to
that question was satisfactorily answered by Paul in Romans 6:3-7: by being buried with Christ in baptism.

Question: If Baptism LITERALLY puts one IN CHRIST, What act LITERALLY puts CHRIST in You? 2 Cor. 13:5; Col. 1:27; Rom. 3:24,25.

Response: We have already seen 2 Corinthians 13:5 and Colossians 1:27 above; let us now read Romans 3:24-25:

being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in his blood, to show his righteousness because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God.

The difficulty of this question revolves around what “literal” truth is. If by “literal” we mean a physical truth in physical terms, then we are not “literally” in Christ, but if by “literal” we mean a physical truth in spiritual terms, then we are assuredly “in Christ.” What act, then, puts Christ “literally” within us? I must again appeal to 1 John 3:24:

And he that keepeth His commandments abideth in Him, and He in him.

Therefore, when we keep His commandments, we are in Him, and He is in us. When do we start keeping His commandments? When we obey His Gospel; therefore, if one is looking for a “point of origin” for Christ being in us, the Scriptures teach that said point is when one obeys the Gospel for the first time.

Question: Did Jesus Christ know the plan of Salvation? John 14:6.

Response: John 14:6:

Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

This is certainly true, and may I add 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9 to the discussion:

if so be that it is righteous thing with God to recompense affliction to them that afflict you, and to you that are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might.

Who are those who are condemned? Those who do not know God and those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. Therefore, those who come to Christ are those who obey His Gospel. Therefore, Christ must know the plan of salvation for it requires Him and His sacrifice and the response that man must make when he recognizes his iniquity.

Question: Did Christ at any time or place personally tell a sinner to be baptized FOR or In ORDER to the Remission of Sin? If so WHEN and WHERE?

Response: We read the following in John 4:1-2:

When therefore the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples).

While we do not deny that Jesus Himself was not performing the baptisms, they are clearly being performed with His knowledge and without a doubt His approval.

The point, however, that we must make is that since Christ had not yet sacrificed Himself for the remission of sin and the covenant in His blood had not yet been made, this covenant was not in effect while He trod upon the Earth (cf. Hebrews 7-9). It is amazing, however, to see that after His death and resurrection, the commandment He made to His disciples included the command to baptize those who would be in Christ, as evidenced in Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:16:

And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.

Therefore, no less than Christ Himself has commanded those who preach in His name to baptize those who wish to receive the remission of sins and to have eternal life. Who are we to disagree?

Question: Did Christ personally, at any time or place say to anyone, He That is Baptized not shall be damned?

Response: Where did Jesus Christ personally, at any time or place say to anyone, that “he that is not baptized shall be saved?” Actually, Christ did say through Paul that those who do not obey Him are not going to be saved in 1 Thessalonians 1:6-9:

if so be that it is righteous thing with God to recompense affliction to them that afflict you, and to you that are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might.

Since it is evident that baptism is part of obedient faith, which we must have (Acts 6:7, Romans 5:1), it is evident that the one who does not obey Christ will be condemned.

Question: Is that Statement: HE THAT IS BAPTIZED NOT SHALL BE DAMNED, to be found anywhere in the Bible? If so . . . Where????

Response: See above. Where does the Bible say that “he who is not baptized shall nonetheless be saved?”

Question: Do you and your brethren, self-styled CHURCH OF CHRIST, not preach and teach, in word, precept and effect, that “HE THAT IS BAPTIZED NOT SHALL BE DAMNED”?

Response: We teach the message of the Scriptures: he who believes and is baptized shall be saved. He who does not obey the Gospel of Christ shall be damned. Where are your Scriptures that reject these principles?

Question: Do you not further pollute your own imaginary scripture by inserting TWO imaginary requirements: (1) That it must be administered by a Church of Christ preacher, and (2) that when the candidate goes under the water, he MUST BELIEVE that act is for OR IN ORDER TO THE REMISSION OF HIS SINS????

Response: This question is obviously full of innuendo, but let us dispense with that for now. I can confirm that the church that assembles in Norwalk, Ohio, by no means teaches that a “Church of Christ” preacher must baptize a person for the latter to be saved; in fact, we would not even know what a “Church of Christ” preacher is, because I have never heard one. I have heard many preachers of the Gospel, but never a “Church of Christ” preacher.

Now, when it comes to being baptized “for the remission of sin,” this is certainly a requirement. Peter says in Acts 2:38 that each person who heard the message needed to repent and to be baptized for the purpose of the remission of sin. This is no imaginary Scripture, but the Word of God. Immersion in water for any other reason is simply a bath, as explained by Peter in 1 Peter 3:21:

which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Baptism is not to cleanse the flesh of dirt, but to cleanse the conscience from sin and death so that one may walk in “newness of life.” The requirement of baptism was not made by God so that His children would not smell for a day, but so that His children may receive the remission of their sins! If one who is dunked in water does not do so for this purpose, of what avail is getting wet? Please, reader, think about these things.

Question: Do you not reject Baptist Baptism because of the absence of these two points????

Response: The fact that you speak of “Baptist Baptism” speaks volumes. Where in the Scriptures would I find anyone receiving a “Baptist Baptism?”

Regardless, we do not necessarily always “reject Baptist Baptism;” we simply petition people to examine the reasons for why they were baptized. If they were not immersed in water, they were not baptized. If they were not baptized for the remission of sins, but as a “public action to demonstrate an inner change” or to “become a part of the church,” this is not the baptism for remission of sin which is commanded in the Scriptures, but a bath that comes without redemption and without the burial of the “old man” of Romans 6! We teach that one must be immersed in water for the remission of sins– any other action for any other reason is no longer the baptism that we read about in the Scriptures. This is what we teach. Where in the Scriptures do we find the reasons for a “Baptist Baptism?”

Question: Since you and your brethren ADMITTEDLY preach and teach the above doctrine, in word and deed, and since such statement can not be found in the Scriptures. He That is Baptized not shall be damned, Is it NOT TRUE that you teach a doctrine that IS NOT in the Scriptures?

Response: The truth that those who do not obey Christ are consigned to damnation is most certainly in the Bible, and the fact that baptism is a work of obedience in Christ is also certainly present. Where, pray tell, is your doctrine of “he that is not baptized shall still be saved” to be found in the Scriptures?

Question: You, furthermore, proclaim, your motto: Where the Bible speaks we speak, where the Bible is silent, we are silent: WHY DON’T YOU REMAIN SILENT ON ABOVE DOCTRINE”. “He that is Baptized not shall be damned”, BE SILENT, SUCH statement is NOT IN THE BIBLE.

Response: That’s my motto? I don’t have a motto. I abide by the teachings of the Scriptures, and that is all. Since your belief of “he that is not baptized shall still be saved” is not explicitly in the Scriptures, why do you not remain silent?

Question: Since your entire approach is builded on an imaginary scripture which does not exist, your every effort is made to twist other scriptures and compel THEM to MEAN your Imaginary Scripture. NOW IS THIS STATEMENT FOUND IN THE BIBLE: “He that believeth not shall be damned”? Baptists preach that exactly as listed. DO BAPTISTS PREACH WHAT IS IN THE BIBLE? Now watch him twist.

Response: Funny, I’m not dancing, but actually rather amused. Of course “he that believeth not shall be damned.” Now, here is my question to you: where in the Scriptures does anyone teach that “He that believes but is not baptized shall be saved?” Does anyone teach this? Or is it certain from Mark 16:16 that if A and B then C, but if not A, then not C, that B is predicated upon A? Many Baptists that I have come in contact with teach that “He that believed but is not baptized will still be saved.” Where is this in the Scriptures? Where does Jesus or the rules of logic allow the statement if A and not B then C when all we know is that if A and B then C? Shall I now “watch you twist?”

Question: Is there an instance in the Bible where a sinner was saved without Baptism? Acts 15:9; Luke 7:48; I John 5:4; Acts 26:18; Eph. 1:11-13.

Response: Let us examine these Scriptures, Acts 15:9, Luke 7:48, 1 John 5:4, Acts 26:18, and Ephesians 1:11-13:

and he made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.

And He said unto her, “Thy sins are forgiven.”

For whatsoever is begotten of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith.

“to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith in me.”

in whom also we were made a heritage, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will; to the end that we should be unto the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ: in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation,– in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

Now, to answer the question, and here’s probably a shocker: yes, there are instances in the Bible where sinners were saved without baptism. We see that no one in the Old Testament were baptized in water in the name of Christ for the remission of sin, yet we see in Hebrews 11 that many of these people will be saved. The same goes for those whom Jesus personally forgave while He walked the Earth. However, the important message that must be understood by all men: there is no evidence that under the new covenant in Christ, inaugurated with His death and resurrection and the establishment of the Kingdom in Acts 2, that any man has been saved without being baptized in the name of Christ in water for the remission of sins. None of the verses quoted deny this, but all work together to prove the harmonious whole: God predestined that there shall be a remnant redeemed from amongst the people through the blood of His Son which was shed once for all on the cross, and that these shall obey Him and receive the gift of eternal life.

Question: Is Baptism a command to and for the Saved or Unsaved? Which? Remember there is only ONE BAPTISM!

Response: The Scriptures teach that the unsaved must be immersed in water for the remission of sins: by this process they are burying themselves and being resurrected in newness of life, having put on Christ (Romans 6:3-7, Galatians 3:27). Once one has put on Christ, he is amenable to the words given by John in 1 John 1:9:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The “saved” need not be baptized again and again, but must confess and repent of sin whenever and wherever it may arise.

Question: If to the UNSAVED are not the unsaved UNBORN OF GOD? Now, do you give commands to your child BEFORE IT IS BORN or AFTER it is born? Can an UNBORN child obey a parent?

Response: I believe that Mr. Davis is extending the comparison of the relationship between a Christian and God to the relationship of a child and parent a bit too far. An unborn child has no faculty for understanding, but a mature man or woman most certainly does.

The difficulty with this question seems to be the lack of understanding of the relationship between God and man. We may receive instruction from God with the parable commonly known as the “Prodigal son” of Luke 15. We read of this son, who takes his inheritance and squanders it, and then attempts to return to his father. The conclusion of this story is seen in Luke 15:32:

“But it was meet to take merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”

What is the message in the story of the prodigal son? We learn that every single human being is a son of God. Some are faithful to the Father, and many are not faithful. They are all still children of God, however, and they all may be received back into the fold. The comparison is made between a legitimate child and an illegitimate child in Hebrews 12, and the comparison is valid: those of the world become illegitimate children of God through their conscious disobedience to His commands. Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that a person is never amenable to the Father– he was born of God when he was born (made evident by the teaching of Christ concerning children in Matthew 18), but decided to forsake his inheritance in Heaven by committing sin. Such a person must be “re-born” into God to receive the promise of eternal life. He must become a legitimate child of God again, no longer illegitimate. Therefore, your question has a foundation that is not of the Scriptures, for all are accountable to God, and therefore all may hear the message and respond to the Gospel of our Lord.

Question: Do you and your Brethren not teach that the COMMANDS of God are given to the UNBORN and that they, the commands are but instruments BY WHICH the UNBORN can obtain BIRTH?

Response: The commands of God have been given to all, and this is made evident in the “Great Commission” to teach all men of the commands of our Lord (Matthew 28:18-20). The “unborn” of whom you speak need “re-birth” into Christ (cf. John 3), and they are fully able to understand the need to come to repentance.

You boast of LOGIC -where is there any LOGIC to this matter?

Response: There is plenty of logic: all humans who have sinned are amenable to the law of God, and all must come to Him if they desire eternal life.

Question: If you say -Baptism is a command for the SAVED – you find yourself in the BAPTIST position, EXACTLY This you do not teach or believe. See Acts 2:41. WHO was baptized here?

Reponse: Acts 2:41:

They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added {unto them} in that day about three thousand souls.

Whose word was received? The words of Peter concerning Christ. Who are they? The Jews who had assembled in Jerusalem for the Pentecost festival. What command were they fulfilling? The command originally given to them in verse 38. Since these persons had not yet been saved until they fulfilled the commands of the Lord beginning in verse 41, this proves rather well that the need for baptism is upon the unsaved.

Question: Do you and your Brethren not also teach and believe- that Jesus Christ was not the Son of God until after His Baptism?

Response: This doctrine is dynamistic Monarchianism, and I do not adhere to this doctrine, and neither do the saints who assemble in Norwalk, Ohio.

Question: Whose Son was He in BETHLEHEM’S MANGER?

Response: Jesus was supposedly the son of Joseph, but assuredly was the Son of God.

Question: Is not the sum of your doctrine simply this: He that lives Closest to the creek, lives closest to the Lord? He that lives furthest from the creek, lives furtherest from the Lord? Does this not place the DESERT dwellers at a distinct disadvantage? Then a Man’s Salvation would be simple or difficult according to his GEOGRAPHICAL location? Does this sound like Jesus Christ in John 3:16?

Response: This question would possibly have some merit if you could demonstrate a group of people who constantly inhabit a place on Earth that does not have water. Water is the one essential substance of life, and man constantly requires it. Deserts are clearly not a problem, for Philip and the eunuch were riding on a desert road in Acts 8:31-39, and there was water found for baptism.

Question: Are the FAMILY of God, the KINGDOM OF GOD and the CHURCH OF GOD ALL one and the SAME??

Response: No. The church of God (or the church of Christ, the church of the Firstborn, whichever designation one desires to use) refers to those who are of Christ and have called upon His name. The church of God, etc., are surely a part of the Family/Kingdom of God, but the Family/Kingdom of God also includes the faithful of the Old Testament period.

Question: Do all who belong to the family of God also belong to the Church of God?

Response: See above. The family of God would include the Church of God but also the faithful of the Old Testament period.

Question: Did God have a family before Pentecost?

Response: It depends on how we define “have.” If we define “have” as meaning “having people who are faithful to Him and obey Him,” then absolutely– we find a multitude of examples in the Old Testament (let alone Hebrews 11) of individuals obedient to God. If we define “have,” however, as “having a family present with Him in Heaven,” then He did not have a family before Pentecost and will not until the Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46).

Question: Then is it now possible to become a member of the family of God and not become a member of the Church at the same time?

Response: When one becomes a Christian and is a part of His Church, he is a part of the family of God.

Question: When and How did Jesus become a member of the Church of Christ?

Response: We have been told about Jesus’ relation to the church in Ephesians 5:23-27:

For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Therefore, we see that Christ established the Church with His blood and is now the head of the Body.

Question: When and How did the Apostles become members of the Church of Christ?

Response: We are told about the relation of the Apostles to the Church in Ephesians 2:19-20:

So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone.

Therefore, we see that the Apostles also represent the foundation of the church, having preached the Word so that the Church would grow.

Question: Was John’s Baptism, Christian Baptism?

Response: John’s baptism was simply of repentance, and is not “Christian” baptism, as is made evident by Paul in Acts 19:1-6, when he baptized again those who were baptized under John.

Question: Who Baptized Jesus Christ?

Response: John baptized Jesus Christ, not for repentance, but to fulfill all righteousness, as we see in Matthew 3:13-15:

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John would have hindered him, saying, “I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?”
But Jesus answering said unto him, “Suffer it now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.”
Then he suffereth him.

There is endless debate over what “fulfill all righteousness” refers to, but it is evident that Jesus was baptized to serve as an example for us.

Question: Did Jesus Christ have Christian Baptism?

Response: As we have seen above, Christ did not need any form of baptism, but He was baptized by John most probably to serve as an example for us. “Christian” baptism is done in the name of Christ; why would Christ be baptized in His own Name?

Question: Have you received the same kind of Baptism, Jesus and the Apostles received?

Response: Sinners cannot receive the a baptism of example as Christ did, and the nature of the baptism of the Apostles is not known. We see that in John 4:1-2 above, the disciples did baptize people into a baptism of Jesus, and they probably received that baptism. If that is the case, then I have received the same baptism of the Apostles.

Question: Is Jesus Christ the Head of the Church of Christ?

Response: We are assuredly told in Ephesians 5:23-27 that Christ is the Head of the Body and the source of all authority.

Question: Since the Head of the Church received ONLY John’s Baptism, is not John’s Baptism, Christian Baptism?

Response: By no means, since Christ, when He received all authority in Heaven and on Earth, commanded His disciples to baptize members of all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in Matthew 28:18-20. The baptism of John was never commanded, and you have not yet demonstrated that anyone can receive the baptism by example that Christ received.

Question: Or Has the Head of the Church received one KIND of Baptism and the Church altogether another Kind?

Response: There is a difference between the baptism of John and the baptism commanded by Christ. There is even really a difference between the baptism of John for repentance, and the baptism of Christ by John as an example. Regardless, there is only one form of valid baptism today, exemplified by Paul and his actions in Acts 19:1-6:

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples: and he said unto them, “Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye believed?”
And they said unto him, “Nay, we did not so much as hear whether the Holy Spirit was given.”
And he said, “Into what then were ye baptized?”
And they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on him that should come after him, that is, on Jesus.”
And when they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

It is made evident here that the baptism of John looked forward to the baptism of Christ, and those receiving only the former required the latter. The Scriptures do not lie.

Question: Alexander Campbell received BAPTIST BAPTISM, and died with it. Did he go to heaven or hell? Campbell never did repudiate this baptism by a Baptist preacher, was he saved or lost?

Response: We have been told in James 4:12 (quoted above) that we have no right to judge, and therefore I will not do so. I would ask, however, if Alexander Campbell was immersed in water for remission of sin; if this is the case, then he would recognize from the Scriptures that he would not need re-baptism. Whatever may happen, the fate of Alexander Campbell has nothing to do with the message of Scripture and the commands which Christ has given to us.

Question: What kind of Baptism did the Apostles receive? Were they saved or Lost?

Response: We are not specifically told what form of baptism the Apostles received, but it is my belief that they received baptism in the name of Christ since that is what they themselves were doing in John 4:1-2. I do know for certain that Paul received baptism, for we are told as much in Acts 9:18. Again, I am not to judge, but it appears that the Apostles recognized that they would be saved if they remained obedient to Christ (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, 2 Timothy 4:7-8).

Question: What kind of Baptism did these Disciples who were baptized by the Apostles on the authority of Christ during his personal ministry receive? John 4:1-2. Were they saved or Lost? Was this before Pentecost?

Response: Again, we are not specifically told what kind of baptism was received by the disciples, but I believe that it sufficed for remission of sin. Again, I am not their judge, God is, and He knows whether or not those who received that baptism were faithful to Christ. This was before Pentecost. In no way, shape, or form, however, do these examples nullify the commandments of Christ for those now amenable to Him.

Question: How was Abraham Saved? David? Enoch? John the Baptist? The Virgin Mary? The Demoniac of Gedara? The Penitent thief?

Response: All of those that you mention who died before the proclamation of the Kingdom were saved by faithfulness to the law of God to which they were amenable and/or the direct announcement of Christ. This by no means negates the requirements of the law of God to which we are all amenable, that of Christ.

Question: How were sinners saved between the Crucifixion of Christ and the Day of Pentecost?

Response: When God judges them on the day of Judgment, they will be judged properly on their deeds against the law to which they were amenable.

Question: How is Abraham the FATHER of the FAITHFUL when he was not Baptized by a Campbellite preacher?

Response: Abraham lived long before Christ and in the body was not amenable to the law of Christ, but was amenable to the commands of God which were given to him.

Question: Since the same FAITH dwelled in Timothy, his Mother and his Grandmother, were they not all saved alike?

Response: We read the following in 2 Timothy 1:5:

having been reminded of the unfeigned faith that is in thee; which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and, I am persuaded, in thee also.

The faith that they all had was faith in God, first of those under the covenant with Moses, and with the revelation of the work of Christ, faith in God through Christ. We know that if nothing else both Timothy and Eunice had faith in God through Christ, as seen in Acts 16:1:

And he came also to Derbe and to Lystra: and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess that believed; but his father was a Greek.

We are not told how long Lois lived, if she was amenable to the Gospel of Christ or not; we may be certain, however, that if she was amenable to that Gospel, she certainly believed in Him. Regardless, they were saved through the faith that they had in God according to the covenant to which they were amenable.

Question: Who preached the Gospel to Abraham? Galatians 3:8.

Response: Galatians 3:8:

And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand unto Abraham, saying, “In thee shall all the nations be blessed.”

This text is not saying that the “Gospel” of the New Testament, i.e. the relation of the death of Jesus Christ for our sins and His resurrection and the need to obey Him, was preached to Abraham, but that the “good news” was given to Abraham through the promise of God that “in [Abraham] shall all the nations be blessed.” This is the “preaching of the Gospel” to Abraham– that the Christ would descend from Him, and all the nations would be blessed in Him.

Question: What Prophet in the Old Testament prophesied of BAPTISM?

Response: It is interesting that when we note Joel 2:32,

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those that escape, as Jehovah hath said, and among the remnant those whom Jehovah doth call.

which is also partly quoted by Peter in Acts 2:21, we see Joel speaking of “calling upon the name of the Lord” for salvation, and we further read that Paul performed the following deed in Acts 22:16:

“And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on His name.”

Therefore, we see that “calling upon the name of Lord” is equated with baptism, and this was spoken of by the prophet Joel.

Question: Did Peter preach to Cornelius that all the prophets bore witness to the fact that whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sin? Acts 10:43. Do you believe what Peter said?

Response: Acts 10:43:

To him bear all the prophets witness, that through his name every one that believeth on him shall receive remission of sins.

We have seen in the Scripture in Joel above that “calling upon His name” was in some way equated with “baptism,” and we can see from a comparison of Acts 16:31 and Acts 16:33 that belief and baptism also seem to be correlated:

And they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house”…And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, immediately.

Why were they baptized immediately unless baptism was a requirement of belief? Further, why did Peter insist upon the following in Acts 10:47-48?

“Can any man forbid the water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we?”
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Therefore, I certainly believe that Peter spoke of the need of belief in Christ, and there is no belief in Christ unless one believes in obeying Him, as is made manifest by James in James 2:19:

Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well: the demons also believe, and shudder.

“Belief” is not mere intellectual assent to the proposition that Christ lived and died for us, but an active desire to obey Him since He has done so much for us.

Question: If Peter preached Baptism, FOR or IN ORDER TO REMISSION OF SIN in Acts 2:38, why did he not preach the same thing to Cornelius in Acts 10:42,43?

Response: We read in Acts 10:44 the following:

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word.

Therefore, the Scriptures make it evident that Peter had not yet finished speaking to Cornelius concerning the Gospel of Christ. We see in Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 that he first exhorted those to whom he preached to believe, and when they responded in an attempt to determine what they should do, he preached repentance and baptism. It is of exceeding interest, however, that Acts 10:47-48, quoted above, show that Peter’s immediate reaction to Cornelius and his men having received the Holy Spirit was to command them to be baptized. If baptism was not important, and not necessary for those who receive the Holy Spirit, why did Peter immediately insist on them being baptized?

Question: In your sugar text which you yourself do not understand (Acts 2:38) how many words BETWEEN the word BAPTISM and the word REMISSION? You will have to cut 11 words out of your text before you can JOIN BAPTISM TO REMISSION OF SIN. What means these 11 words – which you and your brethren always avoid?

Response: Let us again examine Acts 2:38:

And Peter said unto them, “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

We must grammatically examine this sentence. First, there is the command (“be baptized”). Then we see to whom the command is directed (“every one of you”), followed by a prepositional phrase that demonstrates the authority of the baptism (“in the name of Jesus Christ”), and then the purpose of the baptism (“unto the remission of your sins”). This phrase of Peter would be just as grammatically correct if it were rendered “and be baptized unto the remission of your
sins every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ.” This is basic grammatical understanding that does not change between English and Greek.

Question: What is the Greek Word translated or rather Anglicized into the word Christ in Acts 2:38? Why don’t you put the exact Greek word in the text and then read Acts 2:38 to your people and quit making a childish play on the preposition FOR? When you do this you find complete harmony with Acts 10:43 and John 3:16 -Just a little kink right here
give the people the original there- you won’t have to notice the preposition so technically.

Response: The word “for” is the Greek term eis, and it is translated most properly in the ASV as “unto.” It is a clause of purpose in the Greek, which is far more grammatically specific than English is, and it is most certainly not causal as Baptists would like to make it out to be. Eis is translated as a clause of purpose many other times in the Scriptures; how come there is no debate about these translations until we reach Acts 2:38? And how come the “Evangelical” NIV does not translate it any differently than the NASB or the KJV? This argument has no basis in the Greek.

Question: Does the word WATER as used in John 3:5 mean Baptism? Why didn’t Christ say what he meant to say? If he really meant Baptism -when he said water- by the same reasoning – He evidently meant Baptism in the next Chapter (John 4:7-15). Read again the story of the Woman at the well -substitute the word Baptism for Water everywhere it is found in the story exactly as you substitute the word Baptism for water in John 3:5- see what a story you make. False Doctrines always lead to muddy water. Where the Bible speaks -we speak.

Response: You are not speaking where the Bible speaks, because the Bible conforms to rules of context, which you seem adamant to destroy.

We read the following in John 3:3-7:

Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus saith unto him, “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”
Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God! That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ‘Ye must be born anew.'”

Jesus is evidently speaking to Nicodemus about the “second birth,” the destruction of the desire of the flesh for the desire of the Spirit. The earthly birth is of the flesh, and has no place in this discussion: one must be born of the water (baptism) and Spirit. Jesus is not speaking of two births here, is He? By no means!

In the story of John 4:9-15 is in a completely different context, Jesus speaking to a woman at a well of literal water. This story in and of itself uses water in two different senses– the literal, represented by the water present, and the spiritual, the “living water” or the word spoken by Christ that gives eternal life to those who hear and do it. The term “water” is not even used in the same sense in this passage alone, and you would have us believe that the term “water” must be used in the same sense in the same form throughout the Scriptures? Think on these things.

Question: The sermon to Nicodemus was BEFORE Pentecost- Did Christ jump the gun by preaching to him when Pentecost had not come.

Response: We are told the following in Matthew 4:23:

And Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness among the people.

Jesus was preaching the “gospel of the kingdom,” but the Kingdom was not to be established on earth until Pentecost (Joel 2:28-32, Matthew 24-25). Jesus was teaching concerning the things that would be, not necessarily the things that were at that time. It is beyond a doubt that Jesus taught Nicodemus about this kingdom in John 3, since Jesus even mentions it, and therefore we conclude that Jesus was teaching Nicodemus concerning the things that would be in the future.

Question: Is the term “CHURCH OF GOD” a Scriptural term?

Response: The Church of God is a designation given to the church by Paul in multiple places (e.g. 1 Corinthians 1:2), and therefore may be an acceptable designation of His Church.

Question: Do you recognize people who call themselves CHURCH OF GOD?

Response: They may call themselves the “Church of God,” but they are not His Church unless they conform to His Will and submit to be governed by Him. I have seen that there are many doctrines taught by this organization that are not in harmony with the Scriptures; therefore, I will not fellowship nor worship with them (for more evidence on this group, please click here).

Question: Does wearing a Scriptural NAME alone mean that BODY is a Scriptural Body? Upon that grounds do you refuse to recognize the Holiness people who call themselves by the name CHURCH OF GOD?

Response: No, a Scriptural designation (since Christ never named the Body) alone does not make a church “Scriptural.” Only when the church is the “pillar and support of the truth” as it is supposed to be in 1 Timothy 3:15 will it be a “Scriptural” church. The grounds upon which I do not believe the various denominations deemed “Church of God” represent the truth of the Scriptures may be found at the link above.

Question: If those people are going to Hell in spite of their name (According to your doctrine they are all lost), Then it will take MORE THAN A BIBLE name to save them -will it not?

Response: You have again impugned upon my beliefs, confidently asserting that “according to [my] doctrine they are all lost.” I believe and teach only that their teachings are not in harmony with the Scriptures, and that God will judge them and us.

Regardless, a designation alone does not save. There must be some substance behind the designation.

Question: If it takes more than a BIBLE NAME to save the Holiness, this they will admit: Will it take more than a Bible name to save you? Will you admit it?

Response: I have never asserted that a designation alone saves; we seek a designation found in the Scriptures because we desire to be the church seen in the Scriptures.

Question: Were the Converts and Disciples called CHRISTIANS on the Day of Pentecost? Were they saved? The Antioch Believers (Acts 11:26) were first to be called CHRISTIANS (10 years after Pentecost). Were the Antioch Believers any more saved than the Pentecost Believers? Did they call THEMSELVES Christians- or were they CALLED CHRISTIANS?

Response: We see that there are some names given to those who obeyed Christ: they were called disciples (Acts 6:1), “those who believed” (Acts 2:44), and “Christian” (Acts 10:26). Salvation was not dependent on the name they were called individually, but upon their faith in Christ. While we are told that the disciples were first “called” Christians in Antioch in Acts 11:26, we also read the following in 1 Peter 4:16:

but if a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name.

Therefore, “those who believed” and “the disciples” also called themselves Christians.

Question: Did Jesus or His Apostles anywhere in the 4 Gospels use the word Christians? Did Jesus know what to call his Followers? If it is of Divine Origin-why did not the name Originate with Jesus the True Authority in matters of religion?

Response: The name “Christian” obviously did come with divine approval, for we read the following in Matthew 16:18-19:

“And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Roman Catholic doctrine notwithstanding, Jesus here is obviously referring to a time in the near future where Peter (and the other Apostles) would be entrusted with the message of the Gospel with the authority of Christ. Since this same Peter in 1 Peter 4:16 used the term “Christian” to denote a believer, we may be confident that this was a part of the authority of proclaiming what was loosed and bound in Heaven by the authority of Christ.

Question: Did Jesus say to Nicodemus “Ye Must be born again” or did He say “Ye must be Baptized and wear the name Christian”, Which?

Response: Jesus told Nicodemus what was quoted above in John 3:3-7: one must be born again of water and of the Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God. Only the rebirth is spoken of here, and Jesus is making a clear reference to baptism and to the Kingdom that He spoke of constantly as almost near. Therefore, we may conclude that Jesus was teaching Nicodemus about the Kingdom approaching, that its citizens would not gain that right through birth but through their re-birth into Christ.

Question: Were the members of “Church of God at Corinth” LOST because Paul failed to call them CHURCH OF CHRIST?

Response: It has already been stated that “church of Christ” is not a name but a designation of the church found in the Scriptures. The members of the church in Corinth would be saved or lost upon the judgment that will be rendered according to their deeds.

Question: Is it possible for anyone to be a Believer who is a member of a church not called the CHURCH OF CHRIST?

Response: A believer will desire to be in a church that has a designation that is found to be in the Scriptures to describe the Church purchased with the blood of Christ. A believer will find such a church since he will want to obey God in all things.

Question: Were these people lost who were members of the Church of God at Corinth?

Response: The members of the Church of (God, Christ, the Firstborn, etc.) at Corinth will be saved or lost according to the judgment of Christ. It is my personal belief that the designation they used was not improper, and that the church that was in Corinth in the first century did not share the doctrinal positions of the current denomination named the “Church of God.”

Question: Were there any Churches in the New Testament -not called by the name- CHURCH OF CHRIST? Were their members saved or lost?

Response: Actually, there was no local congregation in the New Testament that had any name. The local congregations recognized that they were the assembly of believers and would often use a description that demonstrated who owned them. Therefore, they were deemed the “assembly of Christ,” or the “assembly of God,” or the “assembly of the Firstborn,” or what have you. The Christians of the first century will be judged upon the same basis as the rest of us, according to our deeds (Matthew 16:27).

Question: Is the term THE CHURCH OF CHRIST found as a TITLE to any one CHURCH in the Bible anywhere? Give CASE AND NUMBER OF ROM. 16:16.

Response: Who is asserting that the “church of Christ” is a title given to a church? Again, the phrase is simply a designation of the ownership of that Body, and the term is found in the Scriptures. Here is Romans 16:16:

Salute one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ salute you.

Since we are told in Ephesians 4:4 that there is only one Body and in Colossians 1:18 that the Body is the Church, we safely conclude that Paul is not speaking of two or more “church universals,” but two or more local congregations of the “church universal.” Multiple local congregations may be designated by the term “churches of Christ,” and one local congregation may be designated as a “church of Christ.” The charge of “title” is yours and yours alone.

Question: Where was your CHURCH OF CHRIST when Alexander Campbell was being baptized by a Baptist preacher?

Response: There is actually much evidence that supports the conclusion that there were multiple congregations of believers who followed the message of the Scriptures and used the designation “church of Christ” long before Alexander Campbell, and, interestingly enough, long before John Smythe ever walked the Earth. This evidence may be
found by clicking here.

Question: Was Elder Luce, the Baptist preacher who Baptized Campbell, a Christian? Did Baptist Baptism put Alexander Campbell into the Church of Christ? If not, when and how did Campbell become a member of the Church of Christ?

Response: Again, I do not know the nature of Campbell’s baptism but I do know that he desired to use the designation “Disciples of Christ.” I am not aware, nor can I be aware, of whether or not Alexander Campbell was in the “Church of Christ,” the church universal, until the Judgment Day.

Question: If Baptist Baptism put Campbell INTO CHRIST and HIS CHURCH -why will not Baptist Baptism do the same for people today?

Response: Again, will you please show the Scripture that speaks of “Baptist Baptism?” I have not heard of such.

There may certainly be people who are immersed in water for the remission of their sins in the Baptist denomination. This, however, does not guarantee admission into Christ, unless one walks according to the commandments of the Scriptures.

Question: If Elder Luce did not Baptize Campbell INTO Christ when and where and HOW did Campbell ever get into Christ- since he died with Baptist Baptism, and never did repudiate it?

Response: See above. Where do we hear of “Baptist Baptism,” and I am not the judge of Campbell.

Question: If Campbell were baptized into the Church of Christ by Luce’s act, then was not the Church of Christ in fact already here?

Response: The Church of Christ has existed since Pentecost, according to the faithful word of Christ (Matthew 18:20). This is irrespective of Campbell or Luce.

Question: Then, How could Campbell’s movement, “RESTITUTIONS”, “THE REFORMATION”, “THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION”, “DISCIPLES OF CHRIST’, “CHURCH OF CHRIST”, “CHRISTIAN CHURCH”, ETC., EVER become the ORIGINAL CHURCH OF CHRIST?

Response: Campbell’s movement was not the “church of Christ,” but the Restoration Movement seen in the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church), spoken of above. Many in the twentieth century came out of this movement and saw the truth of the Scriptures, and designated themselves with the same name used for thousands of years to denote a group of Christians attempting to follow the Scriptures alone.

Question: Are you a member of the ORIGINAL GENUINE CHURCH OF CHRIST or the one that grew out of Campbell’s Reform movement? The Church of which Campbell was a member, he got in by BAPTIST BAPTISM. DO YOU HAVE THAT SAME BAPTISM? Then, if not, you do NOT BELONG to the original New Testament Church, but to the one that grew out of Campbell’s movement . . . SELAH.

Response: I am a member of the “called out of Christ,” a group of Christians that have existed since Pentecost and proclaim the Gospel of our Lord. I have no part in Campbell, and actually disagree with him on some tenets of faith. Campbell’s actions have no bearing on the Scriptures and my obedience to Christ. The “assembly of Christ” existed long before Campbell and exist well after him.

Question: Can you show in History anywhere on earth, a Church organized and operating as your self-styled Church of Christ operates today prior to 1826? Where was it located? What your authority? The scholarship of the world awaits your answer.

Response: Keith Sisman in England has found plenty of evidence of groups of Christians meeting in various places in Europe under the designation of “church of Christ,” and by all accounts, attempted to be faithful to the Scriptures. His evidence may be found by clicking here.

Question: Where was YOUR CHURCH OF CHRIST from Pentecost until Campbell’s day? Almost 1800 years are unaccounted for. Where were YOU and your BRETHREN?

Response: See above. By the way, where was the “Baptist church” between 100-1600?

Question: Is it not a fact the ANTI-ORGAN wing of Campbell’s movement split off a few years ago and got their younger set registered in Washington as THE CHURCH OF CHRIST?

Response: Very possibly. They may also be faithful to the Word of God; I do not know. Regardless, I will trust that God knows His flock better than the state of Washington.

Question: All Historians trace the origin of your young set back through the organ-wing of the Campbellite Church, back to the days of Campbell, Walter Scott and Barton W. Stone. Can you trace your origin beyond this date? Are Historians all liars or just plain ignorant?

Response: The evidence above has been recently uncovered and is available for all to see.

Question: Your Doctrine of Church and Baptismal Salvation are both Fundamental doctrines. Did you know that the Catholics, the Mormons, the Jehovah Witnesses, and one Branch of the Holiness sect, are EXACTLY in harmony with you on these points? They tell the world the same story about Baptism and Church membership that you do — identical doctrines. Why don’t you fellowship these people?

Response: We are not in fellowship with them because they teach many doctrines we disagree with (details may be found through clicking here).

I will throw the question back at you: the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, and Christian Science teach along with you that Jesus Christ will return to rule over the Earth for a thousand years. Why don’t you have association with these people?

Question: Why don’t you tell your people the truth about the Music Question? What means the Greek Word PSALMOS or the Hebrew word MIZMOR? Read I Cor. 14:15, and define the words as you go. BOTH THESE WORDS MEAN “TO PLAY ON THE HARP OR OTHER STRINGED INSTRUMENT.” (Liddell and Scott, 28th. Ed. Clarendon Press, 1903) (Standard Lexicon of New Testament Greek, Souter, 1916) Would David be able to worship at your Church should he return to earth? If Musical Instruments are so sinful, why will a Trumpet be blown at the Resurrection Day? Will you rise and rebuke the BLOWER of the TRUMPET and refuse to fellowship HIM because he uses AN EVIL INSTRUMENT ON THAT SACRED OCCASION? Read Psalm 150 for a good tonic.

Response: What does David or the Old Testament have to do with our salvation? They were under the Law; Paul tells us the following in Ephesians 2:14-16:

For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace; and might reconcile them both in one body unto God through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.

Further, by desiring to make us amenable to the doctrines of the Old Law, you become guilty of Galatians 3:10:

For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one who continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.

I want no part of your curse: I desire to be amenable to the words of Christ. In the New Testament, we are told to sing. We are not told to use instrumental music. Psalms can most assuredly be sung without instruments, and there is in fact no historical evidence of any “church” using an instrument before the seventh century.

If David were to return to Earth today and desired to obey God, he would believe in Christ, confess Him, repent of his sins and be immersed in water for the remission of his sins. He would then be faithful to God and assemble with the saints, and would sing praises to His name. This is what all are to do who are amenable to Christ.

Concerning the Revelation and trumpets, the book is completely symbolic and trumpets represent the announcement of the return of Christ. Instruments are not portrayed negatively in the New Testament; they are simply not commanded to be used. You attach the negativity to them if anyone does. Regardless, where does John command us, today, in the “church militant,” to use instruments? Or are we authorized simply because it is used as an example? If this is so, are we commanded to steal by Christ in Matthew 12:29?

“Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.”

You have not yet shown that instruments may be used by Christians according to the Scriptures. You have further not demonstrated that the lack of use of instruments is in any way or form sinful.

Question: You loudly quote Mark 16:16 (First clause only), I don’t believe that you or your brethren really believe Mark 16:16, any of it. He that believeth and is Baptized shall be saved? Only 2 things are mentioned. ARE YOU GOING TO HEAVEN? Your answer is I DON’T KNOW. HOW MANY IF’S AND PROVISOS will you have to insert into Mark 16:16, before
you will take it, At least five.

Response: Mark 16:16 teaches us two tenets of faith: we must believe and we must be baptized to be saved. We are taught in Matthew 10:22 that the one who endures will be saved. We are told in Romans 10:9-10 that we are to confess Him and repent of sin to be saved. Has God lied to us? Has He contradicted Himself? God forbid! Salvation is dependent on many factors, and there is no verse in the Bible that is a “catch-all” that gives every possible factor. How can you factorize the relationship between man and God? Why do you desire to do so?

Question: If you lose your present salvation, can you ever be saved a second time. Give a Chapter and verse for your answer.

Response: 1 John 1:9:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Question: If you are saved NOW but might become UNSAVED tomorrow, would it not be wise for God to let you DIE today?

Response: Hear the words of Paul in Philippians 1:23:

But I am in a strait betwixt the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ; for it is very far better.

It is always better if Christ were to allow us to be with Him today, for our hope is better than our present. We have work to do, however, and we must perform that work until we are called home. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 explains our position well:

Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? Even so run; that ye may attain. And every man that striveth in the games exerciseth self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, as not uncertainly; so fight I, as not beating the air: but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.

Question: In that case, would you not be outliving your salvation?

Response: How have you received the idea that salvation is a right, not a privilege? Salvation explains our current relationship with God and the hope in the future, no more, no less. How can one “outlive” a condition that exists conditionally in the present and as a hope for the future?

Question: Will God let you live TOO LONG?

Response: I will live as long as God wills. No longer, no shorter. Am I even capable of living longer than God allows me to?

Question: If He does, and you die and go to HELL, it is not God’s Fault?

Response: If I am consigned to Hell, it is because I have sinned and fallen short in the eyes of God. God is not responsible for my sin.

Question: How good will you have to be before God saves you?

Response: John speaks well of this in 1 John 2:3-5:

And hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoso keepeth his word, in him verily hath the love of God been perfected.

Salvation will be granted on the basis of knowing God, which is evidenced by keeping His commandments.

Question: Did Jesus Die to save SINNERS or GOOD PEOPLE?

Response: Are there good people? Romans 3:23:

for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.

Did Jesus die only for a few? Hebrews 9:11-12:

But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.

All are sinners, and Christ died for us all.

Question: If Baptism was essential to your FIRST Salvation is it not also essential to being saved a second time?

Response: By no means, since we have been told in 1 John 1:9 that once we are baptized we confess our sins to God, and we see from the example in 1 Corinthians 5 and 2 Corinthians 2:4-8 that a man may be re-admitted into the fold.

Question: Name one person in the Bible who was saved a second time?

Response: There is the man who “had his father’s wife” in 1 Corinthians 5. He was “delivered over to Satan,” but we read the following in 2 Corinthians 2:4-8 concerning him:

For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be made sorry, but that ye might know the love that I have more abundantly unto you. But if any hath caused sorrow, he hath caused sorrow, not to me, but in part (that I press not too heavily) to you all. Sufficient to such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the many; so that contrariwise ye should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest by any means such a one should be swallowed up with his overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you to confirm your love toward him.

Question: Is not your entire program a matter of salvation by works?

Response: No more than yours is by requiring belief and repentance.

We are saved by grace through faith, as explained in Ephesians 2:8-9. Nothing we can do will ever merit our salvation: no work we perform atones for our sins. Christ is our atonement, for God’s grace was made manifest in allowing Him to be sacrificed on the cross for our sins. This by no means negates the need, however, to respond to this offer and accept it through obedient faith.

Question: Do you know the difference in WORKS and GRACE? In Works, one does something for God: In Grace, God does something for us. Which would you rather go out to eternity with? Something you did or something God did. Which would afford the greatest JOY?

Response: Grace is actually “unmerited favor:” it is a passive term. God demonstrated grace through the sacrifice of His Son and the remission of sin that we may receive thanks to Him. As James has demonstrated amply in James 2:14-26, however, God is not pleased with simple intellectual assent to the work of Christ, but acceptance of His grace through the manifestation of His love through you. We are saved by grace through obedient faith.

Question: Was Paul Thankful that God sent Him to preach only one part of the Gospel? 1 Cor. 1:17.

Response: Let us again examine 1 Corinthians 1:17:

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made void.

It should be first stated that Paul not baptizing anyone by no means prevents him from preaching concerning baptism. We have seen earlier that in 1 Corinthians 1, Paul is speaking about those who would believe that they were baptized in the name of Paul; therefore, he no longer baptizes. If God commanded him to not baptize, he was not faithful to the command, since in Corinth alone he baptized Crispus, Gaius, and the household of Stephanas. We have also seen that the Gospel of Paul is the same as the Gospel of Peter and of James and of John, and since we know that Peter preached on baptism, we may be sure that Paul did also. Paul preached the whole Gospel of God (Romans 1:16-17), and baptism is a part of that Gospel.

Question: If Faith always includes and involves Baptism – as you preach it – why did the Holy Spirit use two different words – if they mean and include each other? Mark l6:16.

Response: Why? I am not the judge of the Holy Spirit, nor am I aware of His ways beyond what is revealed. Baptism and faith, however, are different entities, since faith requires more than baptism but baptism is a part of obedient faith. We also see many times in the Scriptures where baptism is understood to be a part of the “obedient faith” which the Apostles speak of.

Question: In Gal. 3:26, 27: “For Ye are ALL” (V. 26)

“For as many of you”- (V. 27). Do these two statements mean and include the same people? Had ALL the people in verse 26 become Children of God? Had ALL of them been baptized or AS MANY OF YOU as had been baptized?

Response: Let us examine Galatians 3:26-27:

For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.

Paul is explaining to the Galatians their existence in Christ. We see the following in Galatians 3:28-29:

There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus. And if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, heirs according to promise.

Evidently there had been some question in Galatia over the existence of Gentiles in Christ and Jews in Christ. Paul is explaining to them first that “all” are sons of God in Christ Jesus, and he then explains the means by which one puts on Christ: “for as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.” Then Paul concludes by saying that there are no cultural or social distinctions in Christ or in the seed of Abraham.

Therefore, are the two groups different? Only in the way they are being addressed. Paul speaks of them collectively in verse 26: “you are ALL sons of God.” Yet, lest they believe that they are the sons of God for any other reason than the truth, Paul then speaks about their individual action: “for as many of you as were baptized into Christ.” The understanding is now made clear: all may be added to the Kingdom, and this salvation comes when one is baptized. If one is baptized properly, one has become a part of Christ, no matter his cultural, ethnic, social, or racial status. Let us praise God for the life that is in His Son!

9 thoughts on “A Response to “101 Questions For Campbellites”

  1. Dear Brother Ethan:

    You did a great job in responding to the 101 questions. I am particularly heartened by the fact that you refer sincere truth seekers to bro. Sisman’s (Traces Of the Kingdom) website.

    On my part, I have been teaching my family on such matters. We are a house church over here.

    Just like to recommend you the following book which narrates what happened to our brethren in the Dark Ages:
    The Church of Christ in The Middle Ages :

    http://books.google.com.sg/books?id=SMYSAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=church+of+christ,+in+the+middle+ages&source=bl&ots=KJR9of7Ees&sig=cVCcEjXrTmwbcxBxEwfC73GvqrQ I
    certainly regard this book as a very precious resource.

    Except for minor points of disagreement, you’ll likely find the learned comments of Albert Barnes in Rev 11 (concerning the two witnesses) excellent food for thought. I would regard the earthquake that came upon the city then as an earth-shaking event – the start of the Reformation, which – by God’s providence – took the public gaze off our brethren. It is really tragic & unfortunate that they compromised with the denoms then just to bring an end to the great persecution inflicted upon them – not just by the Protestant groups but also by the Mother of harlots.

    May the good Lord bless your rich & abundant effort to glorify Him. Indeed, you will have your reward in eternity. Keep on keeping on, brother!

    Be assure I’ll be accessing your website more often in future. I’ll certainly recommend your website to all truth seekers who opt to walk by the straight & narrow.

    Have a blessed weekend.

    In Christ,

    Yu Chung

  2. Hi Bro. Ethan:

    Greetings. Permit me to share a few points concerning one of your responses (to Q82): By the way, where was the “Baptist church” between 100-1600?

    The brutally frank answer is: They were NOWHERE in existence! This is both rational and logical as a body of believers cannot exist before her founder. The acknowledged founder of the Baptists is John Smyth, in the year 1609.

    I regard as vain or futile all attempts (by highly-qualified men from the Baptist persuasion) in tracing their heritage or ancestry back to the first century AD. Note the admission of Thomas Armitage, a better-known Baptist:
    “Little perception is required to discover the fallacy of a visible apostolic succession in the ministry, but visible Church succession is precisely as fallacious, and for exactly the same reasons. … Such evidence cannot be traced by any Church, and would be utterly worthless if it could, because the real legitimacy of Christianity must be found in the New Testament and nowhere else.”
    “The very attempt to trace an unbroken line of persons duly baptized upon their personal trust in Christ, or of ministers ordained by lineal descent from the apostles, or of churches organized upon these principles, and adhering to the New Testament in all things, is in itself an attempt to erect a bulwark of error.”
    [Link: http://www.kjvonly.org/aisi/2003/aisi_6_4_03.htm%5D

    Interestingly, with whom do the Baptists identify in tracing their religious roots to the time of Christ? The early Waldensians and the Anabaptists – for the simple reason these two religious groups practised baptism by immersion. We grant that both these groups, in earlier times, were one in doctrine, religious practice and purpose. Several hostile sources testified thus of them:
    Roman Catholic historians and officials, in some instances eye-witnesses, testify that the Waldenses and other ancient communions were the same as the Anabaptists. … The Mandate of Speier, April 1529, declares that the Anabaptists were hundreds of years old and had been often condemned (Kelle; Die Waldenser, 135. Leipzig, I 886). Father Gretacher, who edited the works of Rainerio Sacchoni, after recounting the doctrines of the Waldenses, says: “This is a true picture of the heretics of our age, particularly of the Anabaptists;” Baronius, the most learned and laborious historian of the Roman Catholic Church says: “The Waldenses were Anabaptists” (D’Anvers, Baptism, 258). …
    Cardinal Hosius, a member of the Council of Trent, A. D. 1560, in a statement often quoted, says:
    If the truth of religion were to be judged by the readiness and boldness of which a man of any sect shows in suffering, then the opinion and persuasion of no sect can be truer and surer than that of the Anabaptist since there have been none for these twelve hundred years past, that have been more generally punished or that have more cheerfully and steadfastly undergone, and even offered themselves to the most cruel sorts of punishment than these people.
    [Link: http://www.pbministries.org/History/John%20T.%20Christian/vol1/history_07.htm%5D

    It is often the case that whenever the Baptists refer to their supposed predecessors (the Anabaptists) in their writings, they have no qualms in substituting the term Anabaptists with their presumed equivalence: the term Baptists! This is a source of wonder and amazement in the light of the following considerations (all available on the Net):
    1. For at least the first 150 years subsequent to their formation, the early Baptists dissociated themselves from the Anabaptists. They referred to the name Anabaptists as that ‘cursed Anabaptists name.’
    But from the beginning of factual, and true Baptist history, for at least the first century and a half of their existence (1604-1776), “Baptists were firm in repudiating the suggestion that they had anything in common with the Anabaptists” at all, and “insist[ed] that they were not to be confused with the Anabaptist” . Factual history clearly states from the actual extent writings of the Baptists that they forsook that “cursed Anabaptists name” to escape the relentless persecution that accompanied that name and that life of Christ down through the Church Age. [Link: http://www.theanabaptistschurch.com/%5D
    But the original and factual view of the Baptists was to distinguish themselves completely different from the Anabaptists. In writing of the Anabaptists entrance into England “as early as 1530”, Dr. W. T. Whitley wrote that “Baptists are to be sharply distinguished from the Anabaptists of the Continent, some of whom took refuge in England as early as 1530” . In deed all of the early Baptists Historians unanimously noted the distinction between Anabaptists and Baptists, … Of those historians are Evans, Early English Baptists, Vol. I, and Ivimey, History of the English Baptists, Vol. I and Crosby, History of the English Baptists, Volume I.
    John Smyth and his small association of believers that hastened to remove themselves from “the reproach of Christ” (Hebrews 11:26), wrote in 1608 and “complained against the term Anabaptist as a name of reproach unjustly cast upon them” . For one hundred and fifty years after John Smyth, this same gripe can be found in “historic Baptist records” … [Link: Same as above.]
    2. They are strangely silent that both groups called themselves the Church of Christ!
    In 1254 AD, an inquisitor by the name of Reinerius Saccho wrote thus concerning the Waldensians (or Leonists):
    And they say that they are the church of Christ; because they observe in word and deed the doctrine of Christ and his apostles. [Pgs 353-354 of the e-book referred to in the last posting.]

    From about 1000 AD in England, Christians called by their enemies derogatory terms such as Waldensian, Lollard, Pelagian and Anabaptist, who baptised believers for the remission of sins by immersion upon confession, have been active in Great Britain and even earlier in Europe. They called themselves Christians and the church – The Church of Christ … [Link: http://www.traces-of-the-kingdom.org/%5D

    For it is recorded of them, that they called themselves true followers of the apostles, and the true church of Christ, and that they on their part reproved the corrupt morals of the prelates.
    http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/martyrs043.htm

    It is also reported on The Net that the Waldenses called themselves the Church of God. I have no problem with that. At the very least, all religious groups calling themselves the Church of God have a greater claim to being the true church of the New Testament as compared to the Baptists!
    3. They are strangely silent that both these groups called themselves Christians – not Baptists!
    Pt #2, second quote.
    The Baptists today claim that Baptism reached England via Smith but the evidence that Baptism by immersion (for the remission of sins) was in England prior to Smith is certain. The Anabaptists saw their identity as being Christians and members of the church of Christ.
    [Link: http://churches-of-christ.ws/anabaptists.htm%5D

    They called themselves the Church of God, or simply Christians.” (ACBCC p.6)
    http://graceandknowledge.faithweb.com/waldo.html

    Anabaptists called themselves Christians or brothers and sisters; their opponents called them enthusiasts, revolutionaries or “Anabaptists”. [Link: http://www.anabaptistnetwork.com/book/export/html/4%5D
    4. They are certainly aware that both groups practised baptism for the forgiveness of sins!
    Pt #2, second quote.
    Balthasar Hubmaier, the influential German Anabaptist scholar wrote that water baptism “is necessary for the forgiveness of sins, in that it introduces the believer into the church, within which alone forgiveness is found.” [Link: http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/apologia/anabaptists.html%5D

    “We preach that remission of sins takes place in baptism, not on account of the water of the rite performed, but because men receive the promise of the Lord by faith and obediently follow His Word and will….. The forgiveness of sins takes place during baptism according to the holy writings. Baptism is the putting on of Christ….. (See – Secret of Their Strength, page 114). [Link: http://www.anabap.com/%20anabaphistorypage2.htm%5D
    5. They also seem to be strangely unaware that the early Waldensians and the Anabaptists (at least for 1,200 years after Christ) do not use instrumental music in worship.
    In the intervening years between Aquinas and the Reformation, the once unusual practice became normative for the first time. The churches of the Lutheran and Anglican reformations continued the use of musical instruments in worship from their Catholic past, working on the principle that what was not forbidden was authorized, but the Reformed churches (the result of the work of Zwingli, Calvin and later Knox) and the Anabaptist branches of the Reformation rejected their use as a Catholic corruption. [Link: http://static.justchristians.com/abundantLife/101997/11.html%5D

    While hymnody was developed among the Anabaptists, the use of choirs and of musical instruments was forbidden. [Link: http://www.liturgica.com/html/litPLit2.jsp%5D

    We read an abundance of history of the Waldenses crossing the mountains and hiding in the valleys of Piedmont, preaching, praying, singing. Did they have cumbersome musical instruments as they were hiding in the caves from their persecutors? [http://pbpage.org/walden1.php]

    The history of this wonderful people, by … C. H. Strong, shows that they observed the ordinance of psalm-singing in its pure apostolic simplicity.
    [Link: http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M873.html/?searchterm=None%5D

    Additionally, one wonders why the Baptists, on the whole, will not take heed to the following testimony of their brethren, the Primitive Baptists:
    Our worship service is patterned after the New Testament
    example and authority and consists of congregational singing,
    prayer and preaching. Musical instruments are not used in our
    worship services as there is no New Testament command or
    example for them. We believe in singing and making melody in
    our heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).
    [Link: http://www.bibletruthforum.com/pdf2/art206.pdf%5D

    On all these counts, how then can the Baptists claim to be the true church which Jesus promised to build in Mt 16:18? This vexatious problem for the Baptists is further compounded by the fact that their name Baptist is not found in the New Testament. Their corporate name Baptists is likewise missing in the pages of the Holy Writ. Truly our Lord Jesus Christ was spot-on when He remarked:
    Mat 15:13 … Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.

    What of their standard manual/s which is/are, in truth, an addition to the scriptures. (Rev 22:18-19) This runs contrary to the divine directive of Gal 1:8-9. The Baptists would do well to take heed to the wise counsel of Benjamin Franklin:
    No man of intelligence will affirm, in plain terms, that the Bible is not sufficient for the government of the saints; or that man — uninspired man — can make a creed that will serve a better purpose than the Bible. Still such affirmations are implied in every attempt made by uninspired men to make a creed. If you admit, as all are bound to do, that the law of God is in the Bible; that nothing may be added to it, nothing taken from it, and that no part of it may be changed, there is not an excuse in the world for making another law. The law of God in the Bible is the law, the divine law, the supreme law, in the kingdom of God; and it is a treasonable movement to attempt to get up another constitution, law, name, body, or officers, apart from the constitution, law, name, body, and officers as found in the Bible.
    But the matter now in hand is to find a safe course to pursue. Can this be done? All admit the Bible is right. All admit that the law of God in the Bible is right. All admit that those who follow the Bible honestly and faithfully, in faith and practice, will be saved. All admit that wherever any creed differs from the Bible is wrong. Then it is infallibly safe to take the Bible and follow it. When men undertake to prove that a human creed is a good one, they argue that it is like the Bible. If a creed like the Bible is a good one, why will not the Bible itself do? If the Bible will not serve the purpose — is insufficient and a failure — a creed like it would be equally insufficient. When men make a creed to do what the Bible would not do, they should certainly make it different from the Bible, or would serve no better purpose than the Bible itself.
    [Link: http://www.focusmagazine.org/Articles/benfranklincreeds.htm%5D

    Another source (also attributed to Benjamin Franklin) puts it this way:
    “First, any creed containing more than the Bible is objectionable because it does contain more than the Bible. Second, any creed containing less than the Bible is objectionable because it does contain less than the Bible. Third, any creed differing from the Bible is objectionable because it does differ from the Bible. Fourth, any creed precisely like the Bible is useless because we have the Bible.”
    [Link: http://www.thegospelofchrist.com/transcripts/topical/pages/topical_08_distinctive_nature_of_the_church_2.html%5D

    All who would rally under the banner of Sola Scriptura (“by scripture alone”) ought to do just that! Creeds are of no relevance in the study of the scriptures. They are like the idols, objects of sin, to which believers become wedded. Doing what is right in one’s eyes has catapulted both physical and spiritual Israel into the Dark Ages of confusion and ruin – be it today or in ages gone by. The following verse ought to be respected:
    Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

    Before the Baptists throw any more stones at the Church of Christ, it is advisable they take a hard look at their own foundation.

    Any building is as strong as its foundation. The acknowledged founder of the Baptist church is John Smyth. Take a look at John Smyth as per the following link:
    However, in much dismay to the Baptist ever since, John Smyth found Amsterdam was also home to many Mennonites, who had for two generations practiced adult baptism based on a personal confession of faith. In his fearful, always wavering desire for self preservation and self propagation, Smyth began to converse with the Mennonites, and the more he communed with them, the more he began to embrace some of their views to the disparagement of Thomas Helwys. Smyth finally became convinced by the Mennonites that his having baptized himself was just a[s] erroneous as his time in the Anglican church, and thus he wrote of his final despair, “We are in constant error”, and applied for membership in the Mennonite churches. To this sad confession, his protégé Thomas Helwys had him excommunicated in typical Baptist fashion of ‘cutting off their foot to spite their face’, and Helwys and all who Smyth had baptized in Amsterdam returned to England in 1611. And though Smyth continued to argue in defense of his having joined the Mennonites, Baptists historians edit out all the above factual information, and still refer to him as the father of the Baptists movement. [Link: http://www.theanabaptistschurch.com/ ]

    John Smyth came across as someone who wavered doctrinally, switched side eventually and ended up being excommunicated! How then can the Baptists be any stronger (no matter how strenuously they fortify their religious structure!) with such an unreliable foundation! When John Smyth was removed, along went the foundation stone. How long can such a religious structure be propped up before toppling over? Assuredly, it is more sensible and far better to build the spiritual house upon that SOLID ROCK, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    Also: It is purported by the Baptist Davies (Q75 & Q77) that Alexander Campbell was a Baptist because he was baptized by a Baptist. John Smyth was on record as having baptized himself. [You can check it up as per the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Smyth_%28Baptist_minister%29 ] Since nobody baptized John Smyth, then it is the case that John Smyth was a NOBODY! This being the case, it is no wonder they excommunicated him!

    So much for now.

    Best regards.

    Yu Chung

  3. Dear Bro. Ethan:

    Greetings. Somewhere in my 2nd posting, I made the following comment:
    “Their corporate name Baptists is likewise missing in the pages of the Holy Writ.”

    Kindly change the word ‘Baptists’ to ‘Baptist Church’.

    THANK YOU. Best rgds. I’ll be doing my 3rd posting soon. To God be the glory!

    In Christ,

    Yu Chung

  4. Dear Bro. Ethan:

    Greetings. The undermentioned is my 3rd posting. I would to God that whoever reads it will find it enlightening and edifying.

    THE WHEREABOUT OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST PRIOR TO ALEXANDER CAMPBELL:

    Having looked into the previous question (By the way, where was the “Baptist church” between 100-1600?), let’s explore further: Where in the world was the Church of Christ from the time of Alexander Campbell (one of the brilliant lights during the so-called Restoration Movement, but certainly NOT our founder) to that of the New Testament church?

    The simple answer (for any sincere truth seeker) is: The Church of Christ was ALWAYS there! (Mt 16:18; Mk 16:15-16 & Col 1:23) There was not a time when she was not in existence. The following significant resources (aside from that provided in the 1st posting) should not be missed by truth-lovers who diligently seek to uncover the state of the Church of Christ in that supposedly vast yet murky period spanning the time prior to Alexander Campbell to the days of the Primitive Church in the first century A.D.:
    1. RETURN TO THE OLD PATHS, A History of the Restoration Movement, By
    V. Glenn McCoy, pgs 44-66 [http://restorationlibrary.org/library_restoration/ROP/ROP_html.html#pg43]
    2. Christianity Before Alexander Campbell, by David Padfield [http://www.thewholetruthnow.com/1campbell.htm]
    Kindly note that in the two recommended sources above, mention is made to the Church in New York in 1818. Alexander Campbell was baptized in Jun, 1812. The Church of Christ in New York was established in 1810. [http://www.manhattanchurch.org/about_history.asp; 2nd paragraph]
    3. The Indestructible Church, by Wayne Jackson [Christian Courier, May 2011]
    [http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1542-the-indestructible-church-of-christ]
    An excellent resource. Together with the two articles above, this recent composition is packed full with information detailing the existence of the Church of Christ backward for at least 140 years from the point of Alexander Campbell’s baptism.
    4. Traces of the Kingdom, by Keith Sisman. [http://churches-of-christ.ws/early.htm]
    A very precious book. It chronicles the existence of the Church of Christ even further back in time – stretching as far back as 1100 – 1000 AD. Consider his findings:

    From about 1000 AD in England, Christians called by their enemies derogatory terms such as Waldensian, Lollard, Pelagian and Anabaptist, who baptised believers for the remission of sins by immersion upon confession, spread out. The map below is an approximation of where the Waldensian heresy was being reported by the late 1100s. From the 1000s Waldensian heresy is being reported in England but I’ve been unable to establish locations. [http://churches-of-christ.ws/maps.htm]

    From Rochester, across the Chilterns, to Worcester, from the 1100s congregations called by their enemies Waldensian met separately from the Roman Catholic Church. By the 1300s these congregations were by their enemies termed Lollard, in the 1500s in the same locations, they were called Pelagian and later, Anabaptist. They called themselves Church of Christ and as individuals, Christians. They baptised by immersion for the remission of sins. They rejected infant baptism, did not sprinkle or pour, immersion being the mode. Their favourite text was Mark 16:15,16 – “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” [http://churches-of-christ.ws/oxford.htm]

    Bro. Sisman also pointed out that the true gospel reached Britain around 37 – 63 AD. As per his research, the true church lasted as far as 462 AD.

    Of the Paulicians, it is also noted these godly people were already in existence in the 6th century AD. In the 12th century AD, they were still in existence!
    From around the late 500s starting in the east a sect of Christians who were called Paulicians, because of their ability to defend their doctrine from the New Testament, particularly from the letters of the apostle Paul came to the notice of the authorities. They said that they were “Christians who were chosen of God” and called each other “brother or sister”. They had rejected the infant baptism of the Catholic church teaching that faith is required before baptism.
    It would seem on examination that these were Christians holding to the pattern of the New Testament. They are also known elsewhere as Publicans particularly in England (Publicani from Paulikanoi from Paulicians). Their teachings quickly spread throughout Europe. … After severe persecution the Paulicians ended up in Bulgaria and other Balkan countries and there they assisted the French church during [its] persecution in the twelfth century … We can establish with some certainty that New Testament Christianity was being propagated through out Europe and the east by the end of the eighth century. ….. [http://churches-of-christ.ws/brief.htm]
    5. Tradition and History of the Early Churches of Christ In Central Europe, Written by Dr. Hans Grimm &Translated by Dr. H. L. Schug [http://www.netbiblestudy.net/history/]
    I regard this resource as a MUST-READ. Dr Hans Grimm is certainly well-qualified to speak on the subject as the core of his research revolved around the history of the churches of Christ in Central Europe. His entire research may be summed up in his introductory remark:
    It has always been a real church of Christ in this world since Pentecost, and this means: a church believing in faith, repentance, confession and immersion for the remission of sins—a church which worshipped at least the first day of the week, with hymns, prayers, the Lord’s Supper, Bible study and contributions for the saints—a church which worked under the oversight of bishops, deacons, and evangelists—a church—not some isolated seekers, but an organized church, which trusted in the Lord’s promise that “the powers of death will never prevail against it.” [http://www.netbiblestudy.net/history/new_page_1.htm]

    Note other excerpts of relevance and interest:
    Within the 800 – 1071 AD timeframe designated by Dr Hans Grimm, fiery persecutions arose against the Christians in Cappadocia and Armenia. The following is reported: “entire churches fled as one to the region of Mohammedan feudal lords in Aserbeidschan and Kurdistan so that, at their being sheltered by the Emir of Argaum, the city Tephrika had to be built close to the Byzantine boundary.” In the so-called better times subsequently, as many as 80,000 Christians returned to Phrygia, Galatia, and Lycaonia. Some stayed behind. Of these Christians who remained, the following is written: “Only the especially cautious ones stayed behind in some hiding places in the mountains of northern Armenia and in the district of Thondrak, where even to this day they have maintained themselves as a small group of 28 families.”
    [http://www.netbiblestudy.net/history/new_page_4.htm]
    At the time of the writing, ‘even to this day’ would be somewhere in the middle of the last century or thereabout.

    … but even as late as 1390 A.D. a New Testament church in Celtic Hill Cliff in Wales built a room for worship with a great basin for immersion of adults in baptism upon confession of faith.
    [http://www.netbiblestudy.net/history/new_page_3.htm]

    In 1118 Gregory Grimm was tortured in Ensisheim in Alsace as a “Patarene” and put to death, because he had been baptized by his grandfather, who on his part had been baptized by immersion for the forgiveness of sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit by a traveling merchant from Venetia of the church, which according to his words was the only church of the saints. [http://www.netbiblestudy.net/history/new_page_5.htm]
    [Note: Gregory Grimm is related to Dr Hans Grimm. That gospel torch had been passed down from father to son from generation to generation even as far as 1955. – wycg]

    6. Truth Triumphant, by B.G. Wilkinson [http://www.temcat.com/06-HiddenHistory/Truth%20Triumphant.pdf] Although a sabbatarian, Wilkinson online book is invaluable in tracking the advance of Christianity (in both its pure and corrupted forms) in places beyond Central Europe throughout the ages. Personally, chapters detailing the spread of Christianity to India and China make an absorbing read.

    The following declaration of our Lord is decisive:
    Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
    If the gates of hell shall not prevail against her, the import is that the Devil, via his marauding forces (inclusive of Imperial or Papal Rome), could not snuff out her existence, no matter how hard he huffed and puffed! (Rev 12:12-16) As to how highly the Lord God regarded His Word (with His promise in Mt 16:18 in mind), kindly note:

    Psalms 138:2 (KJV) … for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

    Take a look at Rev 12:6 and subsequent verses. The woman, symbolic of the Church of Christ, fled into the wilderness from the ferocious wrath of the Devil. The woman was divinely protected (from utter destruction) and was nourished 3 ½ years (v14). This, in prophetic terms, translates into 1260 years. [The commentary of Albert Barnes is of tremendous value here.] The strongest clue on the perpetuation of the woman’s existence has to be:
    Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
    If the Church of Christ were non-existent, the devil could not make war ‘with the remnant of her seed’. It also means that ‘the gates of hell” would have prevailed.

    We can be certain that, in the history of the Church of Christ, at no time was she wiped off the face of the earth by the devil. To the extent the Apostate Church existed throughout the Dark or Middle Ages (This is usually understood as spanning the timeframe of 400 – 1500 AD.), to that extent must the Lord’s church exist. Anything else is conjecture. It is inadvisable for any religious group (inclusive of the Baptists) to pit themselves against the Lord (even if it be inadvertently).

    The crux of the matter (on the Church of Christ existence prior to Alexander Campbell) is:
    Who knows better – the Lord Jesus Christ or the Baptist Davies (and all those in that communion of faith)? The Lord Jesus Christ, of course! Since He always speaks the truth, then it must be the case that the Baptists, in purporting that HIS church was non-existent then, make themselves out to be liars. (Rev 21:8) Rm 3:4 is pertinent here: let God be true, but every man a liar. It is also advisable that the Baptists take heed to:
    Psa 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

    OUR BRETHREN THEN:

    So now, who then were our brethren throughout the Dark or Middle Ages – spanning more than a thousand years?
    Down through the Ages they were the ‘heretics’ who opted to stay on course with the apostolic doctrines – ever preaching, ever protesting against the vile excesses as well as the idolatrous practices of Papal Rome. Yet others, beyond the reach of the tentacles of both imperial and Papal Rome, practiced the principles of true religion unmolested for several generations until such time they were either swamped by corruption or decimated by marauding pagans and fanatics of other religions.

    The full extent of the whereabout of the Church of Christ throughout the ages is something none of us can or will ever know for sure. Nevertheless, we can know for a certainty that the Lord knoweth them that are His. (2Tim 2:19)

    A BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THE PAST: FOLLOWING THE NEW TESTAMENT BLUEPRINT

    Through the various invaluable sources cited above (in the first two pgs of this document plus the only link in the first posting) in the light of Mt 16:18, we see reassuring glimpses of:
    1. Those who had never left the foundation. (Eph 2:20)
    2. Those who had deviated from the pathways of righteousness but decided that the best course forward was to return to the foundation (as per the Law of Christ – Gal 6:2; Jer 6:16) This would include former Waldensians who renounced their previous erroneous beliefs in order to be a part of a purely New Testament church. (http://www.netbiblestudy.net/history/new_page_7.htm, pg 3)
    3. Those who – seeing the monstrosity of Papal Rome and the folly of Protestantism – headed straight for Jerusalem (as per the apostles’ doctrine of Acts 2:42) having bypassed Papal Rome with all its outrageous excesses and corruptions.

    In all three groups noted above, it boils down to that sterling attitude manifested in godly individuals either standing four-square on the truth or making a total return to the truth. Take the 3rd group for instance. Consider the following:
    • Rice Haggard and the adoption of a religious name:
    With a New Testament in hand, he motioned those assembled thus on 4 Aug 1794:
    Brethren, this is a sufficient rule of faith and practice, and by it we are told that the disciples were called Christians, and I move that henceforth and forever the followers of Christ be known as Christians simply.

    The conference unanimously adopted the proposal, and from that time on they wore no other name. [http://frankbellizzi.blogspot.com/2009/02/remembering-rice-haggard.html]
    • The Last Will of The Springfield Presbytery – drafted in 28 Jun 1804 by six leading preachers belonging to the same communion of faith. Note the following extract from the document:
    Imprimis. We will, that this body die, be dissolved, and sink into union with the Body of Christ at large; for there is but one body, and one Spirit, even as we are called in one hope of our calling.
    Item. We will that our name of distinction, with its Reverend title, be forgotten, that there be but one Lord over God’s heritage, and his name one.
    Item. We will, that our power of making laws for the government of the church, and executing them by delegated authority, forever cease; that the people may have free course to the Bible, and adopt the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. … [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Last_Will_and_Testament_of_The_Springfield_Presbytery]
    For the two cited examples above, it should not escape our attention that when religious men are possessed with a God-fearing, Bible-loving attitude and where their only religious preference is the Law of Christ, the church patterned after the New Testament is just waiting to sprout forth.

    Some religious groups were indeed very close to the kingdom of God. I am thus not surprised that, in the latter years (following diligent Bible study, earnest prayers cum the loving providence of the Almighty God), they too organized themselves into churches of Christ in accordance to New Testament blueprint. We find excellent insight in the book of John Waddey [Christianity vs Liberalism and other essays Vol. II, pgs 53 – 58] regarding the Anabaptists (Mennonites, in this case) in the late 16th century. The citations (gleaned from the book by Franklin H. Littell, entitled The Origins of Sectarian Protestantism) are as follows:

    “ … the Anabaptists proper were those in the radical Reformation who gathered and disciplined a ‘true church’ upon the apostolic pattern as they understood it”, page XVII.

    “The real issue between the Anabaptists and other reformers was on the question of the type of church which should take the place of the old church (Rome j. w.) … the reformers aimed to reform the old Church by the Bible; the radicals attempted to build a new church from the Bible”, page XVIII.

    “The radicals wanted to be known only as ‘Bruder’ (Brethren) or some other non-sectarian name”. “They repudiated the name (anabaptist), insisting that infant did not constitute true baptism and that they were not in reality rebaptizers”, page XV. …

    THE CHURCH: “Small group embraced the New Testament pattern with eagerness and pressed forward to restore the undefiled spirit and customs of the church of the first century”, page 2.

    They “did not, however, consider themselves an ‘order’ or marginal movement within the church; rather their congregation were the True Church”, page 68.

    Against Rome they charged, “Instead of the Church of Christ that is the community and congregation of believers they have built stone Temples, called them churches and deceive men thereby”, page 69.

    THE MINISTRY: “The priesthood of all believers was (applied – wycg) … to all Christians instead of only a special class”, page 68. …

    CHURCH GOVERNMENT: “… they established Biblical rule, notably government of elders …”, page 118. “These leaders were laymen, chosen by the congregation on the authority of the New Testament examples of Acts 14:23; Acts 20:17, 28; Tit 1:5; 1Tim 3; 5:17 …”, page 92.

    CHURCH DISCIPLINE: They stressed ”an active practice of church discipline”, page 36. Their discipline, also called “the ban”, was based on Mt 18:15-18, page 118.

    EVANGELISM: … “They looked upon the known world as a great missionary territory …”, page 119 “… the Anabaptists were among the first to make the (Great) Commission binding upon all church members”, page 112. BAPTISM: … They practiced immersion, Americana, Vol. I, page 598. They preached, “Firstly, Christ said, ‘go forth into the whole world, preach the Gospel to every creature’. Secondly, he said, ‘whoever believes’. Thirdly, ‘and is baptized, the same shall be saved’. This order must be maintained if a true Christianity is to be prepared and though the whole world rage against it”, page 111.

    LORD’S SUPPER: They ‘denied the ‘real presence’ which Luther and Calvin retained. For them the Supper was a memorial and symbol of their corporate union with each other and the Risen Lord”, page 68. …

    Two compelling factors, either alone or otherwise, provided the push in bringing Christianity to the far distant lands (even in the Apostolic Age): The divine mandate (to preach the gospel in all the world) as per Mk 16:15 and the resultant persecutions in which the saints were scattered …everywhere (as per Acts 8:4). In that generation, the Apostle Paul could confidently affirm that the gospel … was preached to every creature … under heaven (Col 1:23). This pattern is to be repeated by members of the Lord’s Church down through the ages.

    Through the long dreary millennium, our brethren were witnessing for the truth. This is borne out by Rev 11:1-13 in the symbolism of the two witnesses. (Kindly refer to Albert Barnes again). Through those dark, dangerous times, these brave souls preached tirelessly against the errors as well as the outrageous excesses of the Apostate Church, which was also branded as the Mother of Harlots in Rev 17:5. In turn, our brethren were condemned as heretics and hunted down like wild beasts by the inquisitors for preaching nothing but the truth. (For instance, death awaited the man who dared preached against infant baptism.) Once caught, they were tortured (e.g. screwing nails through the palms of their hands!) and called upon to recant. Refusal to renounce the true faith may result in any of the following barbaric punishments: burned at the stake, impaled, starved to death, drowned in water, stoned to death, put to the sword, eyes gouged out, nose cut off, women violated etc At least one had his tongue cut off so that he could no longer proclaim the gospel. Yet another was literally sawn into two. Even the entire villages (with the inhabitants trapped inside) were set on fire (a bonfire indeed!) by the sadistic Papal hordes, others were gleefully massacred – all too often with the Reformers in collusion. (How then were they not ‘the offsprings of the Harlot” I’m not sure.) Those who perished in such appalling manner (as elaborated above) numbered in the region of millions. With this fresh perspective in mind, we’ll understand Rev 6:9-10 in a new light.
    [Information pertaining to the various barbaric modes of torture and killing are richly evident on the Net, inclusive of the following sources previously cited by me:
    • The Church of Christ In The Middle Ages, by Robert Benton Seeley. The link appears in the first posting.
    • Traces of the Kingdom, by Keith Sisman. The link is in pg 1 of this document.
    • Truth Triumphant, by B.G. Wilkinson. The link is in pg 3 of this document.]

    THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS THE CHURCH OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: A LOGICAL DEMONSTRATION

    That the Church of Christ is the one true church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can be logically demonstrated thus:

    A. If it be the case that the Church of the New Testament bears evident unique identification marks as the Church that Jesus built, and
    B. If the Church of Christ today bears the same identification marks,
    Then:
    C. It is the case the Church of Christ today is the Church that Jesus built.

    D. It is the case that the Church of the New Testament bears certain distinctive, undeniable and unmistakable traits. They are as follows:
    a. The founder is Jesus Christ. (Mt 16:18)
    b. The head of the Church is also Jesus Christ. (Eph 5:23)
    c. The year of founding was 30 A.D. or thereabout – with that grand event unfolding as per the narrative of Acts 2.
    d. The place of founding was Jerusalem. (Acts 2)
    e. God’s grace (Rm 3:24), God’s love (Jn 3:16), the blood of Christ (Rm 5:9), belief (Mk 16:16), repentance (Acts 2:38); confession of faith (Rm 10:9-10); baptism (by immersion) for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16) were all vital components in the salvation of alien sinners.
    f. The pure gospel alone (Gal 1:8-9) was the power of God unto salvation. (Rm 1:16)
    g. Worship revolved around the apostles’ doctrines, fellowship, the breaking of bread (i.e. the Lord’s Supper), prayers (Acts 2:42), singing (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16) and contribution (1Cor 16:1-2).
    h. The Law of Christ was the rule of faith and practice. (Gal 6:2; Mt 28:18; Col 3:17)
    i. Each congregation was autonomous – under the rule of a plurality of elders. (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:17; 1Pet 5:1-2) Within the context of the local church are also the deacons (Phil 1:1) and the members.
    j. Members of the church were known as Christians (Acts 11:26) and referred to each other as brother (Acts 21:20; Rm 14:10) or sister (Rm 16:1; 1Cor 9:5).
    k. The congregations were known as churches of Christ. (Rm 16:16)
    E. The Church of Christ today met the above criteria on all counts. Evidences that such is the case can easily be gleaned from the Net. (Simply google: identifying marks of the New Testament Church, the Church of Christ) You may want to take a look at any of the several links (which I consider as well-written as per our current discussion) for your perusal:
    http://www.cedarcrestcoc.org/testament.html
    http://www.creekwoodcc.org/The%20Church%20of%20Christ.htm
    http://www.churchofchrist-ireland.com/web_documents/a_guide_to_find_the_true_church.pdf
    http://www.churches-of-christ.net/tracts/job119u.htm

    As per the 1st link, here is a shortened version of that article: The Distinctive Nature of the New Testament Church

    The Identifying Marks

    The Founder:
    The founder of the church is Jesus, the Christ. This is clearly proclaimed in Matthew 16:18, where Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church”. …

    The Head:
    Jesus Christ is also identified as the head of the church. He holds the superior position, in which he is the final authority in matters of doctrine and practice. Colossians 1:18 states, “and he is the head of the body …”

    It’s Geographical Origin
    The Church of Christ as found in the Bible began in the city of Jerusalem on the first Pentecost after the resurrection. …
    This distinguishes the Church of Christ (Romans 16:16) from all other denominations that were started by fallible men in places that were not designated by God. …

    It’s Local Organizational Structure
    …The church in the Bible has three distinct leadership positions. There are Evangelist, Elders who are pastors, and deacons. … {Together with the saints, they constitute – Phil 1:1 – wycg] … a scripturally organized congregation of the lord’s Church. …

    The Distinctive Nature of the Worship
    The New Testament church had a distinctive worship that was according to the apostles teaching. … [The following are the acts of worship: – wycg] … Christ-centered Preaching (Acts 20:7); Singing (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16) separate and apart from instrument of Music; Giving as you purpose and prosper upon the 1st day of the Week (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) … Praying – (Acts 2:42); Observance of the Lord’s Supper every First Day of the week (Acts 20:7)

    The Distinctive Nature of the Plan of Salvation
    There is a specific pattern or model that one must submit to in order to become a member of the Lord’s church. … What is the pattern?
    Hear the Gospel (Romans 10:17, Acts 2:22) ; Believe The Gospel (John 3:16); Repent (Acts 3:19, Acts 17:30-31); Confess Christ (Romans 10:9-10); Be Baptized, being then added to the Church (Acts 2:38, Mark 16:15-16)

    What is the distinctive plea of the church of Christ?
    It is primarily a plea for religious unity based upon the Bible. …This is an appeal to go back to the Bible. … It further emphasizes that in everything religious there must be a “Thus saith the Lord” for all that is done. The objective is religious unity of all believers in Christ. The basis is the New Testament. The method is the restoration of New Testament Christianity.

    THEREFORE,
    F. It is the case the Church of Christ today is the Church that Jesus built.

    Be it noted that although the existence of the Church of Christ down through the Ages (throughout the inhabited world, since Pentecost in Acts 2) is not in doubt, she is in no need of apostolic succession (as authentic proof of her divine origin). Such a doctrine is alien and contrary to the doctrine of Christ. Insofar as the pure and precious Word of God is planted in the right soil condition (i.e. symbolic of an honest and good heart – Lk 8:11, 15), the Church of Christ will always be the end product (bearing the imprint of God). It is heartening to note that discerning Baptists concur on this issue:

    “If every church of Christ were today to become apostate, it would be possible and right for any true believers to organize tomorrow another church on the apostolic model of faith and practice; and that church would have the only apostolic succession worth having a succession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and obedience to Him.” (H. C. Vedder)
    http://www.baptistpillar.com/bd0088.htm

    ” … If no trace of conformity to the New Testament could be found in any Church since the end of the first century, a Church established today upon the New Testament life and order, would be as truly a historical Church from Christ, as that planted by Paul at Ephesus.” (Armitage)
    http://www.kjvonly.org/aisi/2003/aisi_6_4_03.htm

    ” … the real legitimacy of Christianity must be found in the New Testament and no where else.” (Armitage)
    http://wordsfitlyspoken.org/gospel_guardian/v5/v5n33p2-3b.html

    In view of their writings captured above, it is regrettable that the Baptists themselves do not follow the apostolic pattern today – be it in terms of sound words, worship and religious practices.

    THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN SUMMARY:

    In summary, it is not difficult to see that there was always a true church in existence since that momentous Pentecost in Acts 2. We see her as running parallel to the Apostate Church – ever protesting against her falsehood, ever preaching against her infidelity to the truth, ever declaring the pure gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. That church is none other than the Church of Christ.

    The Church of Christ is simply that body of believers belonging to Jesus Christ – built upon the rock-solid foundation (or that foundational bedrock of truth) that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. (Mt 16:16, 18)

    The Church of Christ is His body (Col 1:18) – the one body of Eph 4:4. It simply means that all other religious bodies (claiming to be identified with Him but failing to render complete obedience to His will or His blueprint regarding His Church) do not have any legitimacy in the Courts of Heaven. (Mt 7:21; Lk 6:46) They exist in competition with the Lord’s church for the souls of mankind. Lacking the approval of the Father, they will be burned up in the last days. (1Cor 3:11-13)

    Christ is the Saviour of His body. (Eph 5:23) All who would come to Him have no right whatsoever to pick-and-choose what they shall believe in order to be saved. This is self-willedness. Our only right (which is also THE ONLY RIGHT THING TO DO) is to bow our hearts and knees completely to His every wish and command. (Jn 14:15; Jn 15:14) Anything less than that will not do. Only when we conform fully to the wishes of Heaven (having lived a faithful Christian life unto death – Rev 2:10) can we cross over safely unto that Eternal City. In this wise, we observe that our Baptist neighbours are in perfect agreement. Note the following quotation from J. G. Bow:
    “No one has a right to cull and cut, pervert, and reject to build up a system according to his own fancy.
    We accept it as it is, as God’s Word. What it teaches is right, what it enjoins we must do, what it prohibits we must not do. By this Bible all human conduct, creeds, and opinions are to be tried.” [http://www.pbministries.org/Theology/J.%20G.%20Bow/what_baptists_believe01.htm]

    Borrowing the words of David, I can only say ‘Amen, and amen’ (Ps 41:13) to Dr. Bow’s wholesome remark. To God be the glory when we unswervingly follow Christ and His blueprint for His Church, the Church of Christ.

    A Note Regarding the Term, ‘Campbellites’:

    This term ‘Campbellites’ was extensively employed by the Baptist Davies (in his 101 Questions) in reference to members of the Church of Christ.

    Be it observed that both terms – Baptists and Campbellites – have one thing in common. They were names of reproach heaped upon them by their enemies. The great divide in this name-calling business is that the Baptists accepted that derisory term as a mark of identification of their religious communion – a badge of honor, so to speak. On the other hand, members of the Church of Christ vigorously rejected all attempts by outsiders to class them with Alexander Campbell rather than with Christ. In this wise, it may be said that between members of the Church of Christ and the Baptist Church, there is a great gulf fixed!

    Note the following extracts from the Christian Courier website:
    In 1828 Mr. Campbell responded to the question: “What is Campbellism?” in the following fashion:
    “It is a nickname of reproach invented and adopted by those whose views, feelings and desires are all sectarian – who cannot conceive of Christianity in any other light than an ISM” (Christian Baptist, Vol. V.270).

    Robert Richardson was the author of a massive work titled The Memoirs of Alexander Campbell. Therein Richardson wrote:
    “Mr. Campbell never for a moment entertained the thought of becoming the head of a party or of allowing himself to he recognized as the founder of a religious denomination” (Memoirs, ii.441).

    Once when Campbell was in New Orleans, a local newspaper characterized him as the “founder” of a denomination. Mr. Campbell was not pleased. He penned a letter to the editor:
    You have done me, gentlemen, too much honor in saying I am the “founder” of the denomination, quite numerous and respectable in many portions of the West, technically known as “Christians,” but more commonly as “Campbellites.”
    I have always repudiated all human heads and human names for the people of the Lord, and shall feel very thankful if you will correct the erroneous impression which your article may have made in thus representing me as the founder of a religious denomination (Memoirs, ii.441).

    [You can read more of such matters in: http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/822-alexander-campbell-and-christs-church%5D

    We call ourselves Christians. (Acts 11:26) We address one another as brother (1Thes 3:2) or sister (Rm 16:1). Surely our Baptist neighbours are not lacking in civility in this matter? (Mt 7:12) It’s hard to imagine any religious group as of good character when they frivolously and persistently pursue such an obnoxious pastime and indulgence (in calling us Campbellites).

    Questions to The Baptists:

    A few questions will do. 101 questions will prove too tiresome even for the Baptists!

    1. Somewhere in that interval of time when John Smyth forsook the Church of England up till the point he became a ‘Se-Baptist,’ he was immersed on that momentous night of 24 Mar, 1606.
    • By whom was he baptized?
    • His baptizer was a member of which church?
    • Into which church was he baptized?
    • For what purpose was he baptized?
    2. John Smyth as a ‘Se-Baptist’ (in that he baptized himself): Jesus did not baptize Himself. Alexander Campbell did not baptize himself. John Smyth??? What he did was without a single scriptural precedent in the entire New Testament!
    • For what purpose was his baptism?
    • Was his act of self-baptism an error?
    • If his act of self-baptism was not wrong, why then was he disfellowshipped by Thomas Helwys and company in Amsterdam (i.e. aside from the other errors espoused by him)?
    • When John Smyth baptized himself, how then is that not contrary to Prov 14:12 & Mt 7:21? What scriptural support is there in the Law of Christ for such a baptism?
    3. Thomas Helwys and company returned to England and established a church in 1612.
    • What was the name of that church?
    • Why did the Baptists, several decades later, choose to deviate from that scriptural name?
    • When the corporate name (the Baptist Church) is without scriptural sanction, how then can the Courts of Heaven recognize such a church whose members chose not to identify with the Saviour?
    4. Thomas Helwys believed in “immersion for the remission of sins upon repentance and a confession of faith for believers.” Was he right in that belief?
    5. The church established by Thomas Helwys and company practiced acapella congregational singing. Were they right or wrong in so doing?
    6. The Baptists admit a baptized believer into their communion – conditioned upon their endorsement of that person’s soul-saving experience. Which verse in the Bible (more specifically the Law of Christ) sanctions the requirement of a soul-saving experience?
    7. Whatever disagrees with the gospel pollutes the gospel (Gal 1:8-9). Christ placed the salvation of an alien sinner after baptism. (Mk 16:16) Acts 2:38 is in perfect agreement. The Baptists? They placed salvation in between faith and baptism and construed Acts 2:38 in a similar light.
    • If the Baptists reject the plain will of the Saviour, how then are they not competing with Him for the souls of mankind?
    • How then can they claim to be walking after the will of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? (Mt 7:21)
    8. As per the Baptist doctrine, an unbaptized believer in Christ is already saved. As per the teaching of Christ, that believer is still lacking the approval of God (Jn 12:42) and a child of the devil (Jn 8:30, 44).
    • Who then is right: Jesus or the Baptists?
    9. T/F The Baptist Church was “an apostate movement which came out of the churches of Christ in the 1640s, from which it spread abroad into the world.”
    10. T/F “There was no Baptist Church of that name or denomination prior to the 1650s.”
    11. A name serves as a mark of identification. The Church of Satan clearly indicates that her members are affiliated with the devil. The Church of Christ points to her members belonging to Christ. With whom are the Baptists aligned with in calling themselves The Baptist Church?
    12. The founding of The Baptist Church by John Smyth: Is this something to be gloried in when it is contrary to the prayer of Jesus? (Jn 17:21-22)
    13. Christ is the saviour of the body. (Eph 5:23) The body is His Church, the Church of Christ. (Eph1:22, 23; Col 1:18; Rm 16:16) Logically then, is it possible for anyone, inclusive of the Baptists, to be saved and yet not be a member of His Church, the Church of Christ? How then do we access that one body?
    14. Baptism for forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) puts us into Christ. (Rm 6:3; Gal 3:27) In Christ, the following privileges and benefits are accorded unto all alien sinners : Putting on Christ (Gal 3:27); salvation … with eternal glory (2Tim 2:10); redemption by His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7; Col 1:14); translation out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light (Col 1:13); no condemnation (Rm 8:1); God’s grace (2Tim 2:1) etc Why then is this mandated requirement of the Saviour (Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16) rendered as a non-essential unto salvation by the Baptist community?
    15. The Lord God had JOINED together baptism (by immersion) with the forgiveness of sins. (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16) He had also JOINED together the blood of Christ and the forgiveness of sins. (Eph 1:7; Rev 1:5) It is thus evident that in baptism, the blood of Christ (His appointed means) is applied. Why then do the Baptists take it upon themselves to put baptism, the forgiveness of sins and the blood of Christ asunder?
    16. In Acts 2:38, repentance and baptism bear the same relationship unto the remission of sins. If repentance is unto the remission of sins, how then can baptism not be unto the remission of sins?
    [Note: I am greatly indebted to the Traces of The Kingdom website for the formulation of approximately a third of the questions posed above. The reader will find the content of the following links worth his time perusing:
    http://churches-of-christ.ws/SM.htm
    http://www.churches-of-christ.ws/morton.htm%5D

    In Christ,

    Yu Chung

  5. Dear Bro. Ethan,

    This is my 4th posting, which is also my second last. It centers around Q86, which is as follows:

    Q86. “Why don’t you tell your people the truth about the Music Question? What means the Greek Word PSALMOS or the Hebrew word MIZMOR? Read 1 Cor.14:15, and define the words as you go. BOTH THESE WORDS MEAN ‘TO PLAY ON THE HARP OR OTHER STRINGED INSTRUMENT’ (Liddell and Scott, 28th. Ed. Clarendon Press, 1903) (Standard Lexicon of New Testament Greek, Souter, 1916) Would David be able to worship at your Church should he return to earth? If Musical Instruments are so sinful, why will a Trumpet be blown at the Resurrection Day? Will you rise and rebuke the BLOWER of the TRUMPET and refuse to fellowship HIM because he uses AN EVIL INSTRUMENT ON THAT SACRED OCCASION? Read Psalm 150 for a good tonic.”

    On 1Cor 14:15:
    PSALLO is translated twice as SING in this verse. It should be noted that all standard versions (be it KJV, ASV, NIV, NASB etc) translated PSALLO as SING – not SING and PLAY ON THE HARP or PLAY ON THE HARP (as per Liddell & Scott’s definition, with the concurrence of Souter & such Baptists as Davies).

    There was a time in history when PSALLO did not carry the idea of SING. Its main thrust was solely instrumental. As the word evolved, PSALLO came to have the meaning as defined by Liddell & Scott – play on the harp … Unfortunately for the Baptist Davies (and those of like minds), that definition applies to the Classical period.
    There came a time when the actual instruments dropped out of PSALLO completely. What remained of that Greek word is simply to SING. This definition applies to the New Testament period. Thus, the definition of Liddell & Scott is, at best, without merit and, at worst, nonsensical.

    As to the evolution of PSALLO (and thus PSALMOS for PSALMS), excerpts from the The Complete Biblical Library Greek Dictionary (as captured in an article from your website: Can Musical Instruments be Used to Worship God?) are excellent materials. [Available at:: http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVSermons/CanMusicialInstrumentsBeUsed.htm%5D

    To SING, as per the Lord’s mandate, is to walk by faith. To PLAY as per the definition of Liddell & Scott, Souter etc (with the full support of the Baptist Davies and his kind) is to walk otherwise. It is walking the way of Cain. (Jude 1:11)

    Of Liddell & Scott:
    In the health sector, we have specialists as well as GPs (General Practitioners). The words of a specialist certainly carry more weight in their area of specialized medicine, as compared to the opinion of a GP. Similarly when a person is down with cancer, the professional advice of an oncologist will be taken seriously by the patient – and not that of a psychiatrist. Thus, it certainly and logically matters that we should consult the proper specialist who can impart AUTHORITATIVE advice etc – leading to our complete recovery.

    Keeping the above thought in mind, we venture a few sensible observations in the field of lexicography. It has been correctly pointed out that Liddell & Scott are specialists in Classical Greek – not koine Greek (which was the common Greek during the New Testament period). As such, we would reasonably expect their definitions to be confined to that period of word usage. Within that period or epoch of Greek usage (for any word in Classical Greek), the renowned lexicon of Liddell & Scott reigns supreme. When attempts are made to import the classical meaning of any word – inclusive of PSALMOS for PSALMS – into the New Testament period, these two lexicographers (inclusive of Souter and others) can no longer be considered as offering ‘the last word’ on the matter. In health terms, the weight of their definition amounts to no more than the opinion of a GP. They would be workers of deceit (2Cor 11:13) in attempting to sneak into the worship of God mechanical instruments of music on the basis of a word definition (in this case, PSALMOS) that no longer applies in the New Testament context. To force a meaning that is no longer there for the period defined – i.e. the New Testament period – is to betray the trust multitudes of bible students in Christendom have accorded them.
    (Having undergone a Classical program, JW Roberts observed that generally Classical scholars are not specialists ‘in koine Greek in general or New Testament Greek in particular.’ He added that these Classical professors were neither interested in nor very well informed about this period of Greek or of the Greek New Testament. Most Classicists simply couldn’t care less about the New Testament. [Bales, pgs 130-131] )

    In pgs 60-61 of his book, Kurfees provided the following pertinent and forthright quotation from the pen of Dr James Begg regarding PSALLO:
    This attempt to fix the meaning of the word as implying playing instead of singing, as used by the New Testament writers, was thoroughly set aside by Dr. Porteous, by a variety of evidence, one part of which is thus concluded: “From these quotations from the Greek fathers, the three first of whom flourished in the fourth century–men of great erudition, well skilled in the phraseology and language of Scripture, perfectly masters of the Greek tongue, which was then written and spoken with purity in the countries where they resided; men, too, who for conscience’ sake would not handle the word of God deceitfully, it is evident that the Greek word signified in their time singing with the voice alone. … The question now, as every one knows, is not about the roots or the original meaning of words, but about the sense in which they were used by the inspired writers; [psallo –wycg] never occurs in the New Testament, in its radical signification, to strike or play upon an instrument.”–Cited by Girardeau, “Music in the Church,” pp. 116-118. [Kurfees, 60-61]

    Theological Bias:
    Let’s probe further – as per our health illustration above. When a GP or specialist is reported to be guilty of professional misconduct, what is our instinctive reaction? We would be wary of them. Likely we will avoid them like some sort of dreadful plague so as not to fall prey to their weakness as well. What then has this to do with Liddell & Scott? Theological bias had crept into their great lexicon before. This was reported by M.C. Kurfees in pgs 68 – 70 of his highly recommended book, entitled Instrumental Music in the Worship. [An electronic copy is available at: http://www.gravelhillchurchofchrist.com/downloads/Kurfees,%20M.C.%20-%20Instrumental%20Music%20in%20Worship.pdf ]

    As members of the Church of England, Liddell & Scott injected the indefensible meaning of POUR to BAPTIDZO in the very 1st edition of their work. [Primarily, the anglicized word, BAPTIDZO, conveys the idea of an immersion.] That alien meaning of POUR was removed from subsequent editions when that lexicon was critically peer-reviewed. We should not be surprised if the same weakness (just mentioned) should crop up in other controversial areas of religious faith and practices.
    [Alexander Souter fares no better. This is highlighted by Ron Daly in his blog dated 22 Nov 2011, entitled “All Greek-English Lexicons Are Not Equal.” (Available at: http://biblicallanguagesresearch.blogspot.sg/2011/11/all-greek-english-lexicons-are-not.html)
    In that blog, Ron Daly highlighted two Greek words in which the given definitions (by Souter) were flawed. One of these words was PSALLO.]

    It is unfortunate that when we come to the definitions of PSALLO & PSALMOS, we are confronted with just such a situation. In this case, musical accompaniment were retained for both related Greek words (PSALLO being the verb & PSALMOS being the noun) and applied to the context of the New Testament worship. Sadly, this testifies to the fact that learned and religious men (functioning in the capacity as peer-reviewers) are just as susceptible to theological prejudices as Liddell & Scott. If they let it slip intentionally, they can only do so by numbing their consciences. Then, they would be bent on serving their self-interest (or that of their community of faith) rather than the interest of their Master in Heaven. (Jn 12:43)

    [In the last of his 3-part article, Ron Daly reminded his readers that lexicographers are not without faults. Their works are sometimes colored or tainted by their theological bias. The title of that instructive article is certainly apt: Scholars Are Not Always Right (No.3), dated 24 Dec 2010 (available at: http://biblicallanguagesresearch.blogspot.sg/2010/12/scholars-are-not-always-right-no3.html). Souter, aside from others, once again came in for dubious mention.]

    The PSALMOS Definition As Provided By Reputable & Trustworthy Lexicographers:
    Let’s investigate further: If Liddell & Scott were not specialists as per the New Testament period, whose definitions can be adjudged as authoritative and reliable? There are quite a number of them. To save space, we shall consider that of Thayer & Prof. Sophocles- the very highest lexicographical authorities covering the New Testament period.
    When it comes to New Testament Greek, the work of Thayer (esteemed the prince of lexicographers in his generation) is outstanding. His definition of PSALMOS reads:
    “a striking, twanging; specifically a striking the chords of a musical instrument; hence a pious song, a psalm …, Eph. 5: 19; Col. 3: 16 …”
    The work of Prof Sophocles is certainly impressive. The extent of his thorough investigation stretches from B.C. 146 to A.D. 1100, involving 594 authors over a period of more than 1200 years. [Read more in Kurfees, pg 48.] He defines PSALMOS simply as “psalm.”

    You’ll notice the absence of the harp or other forms of musical instruments in their definitions covering the NEW TESTAMENT period. Thayer’s definition is all the more compelling in view of the fact that he is a Congregationalist. He provided the true meaning of PSALMOS (as well as PSALLO) although it was contrary to the worship practices of his religious community.

    In concurrence with the Thayer & Prof. Sophocles above is an illustrious host of well-known Bible scholars and reputable lexicographers. They would include: Bagster, W. Greenfield. T.S. Green, Lyman Coleman, John Girardeau, Conybeare & Howson, Marvin R. Vincent, Dean Henry Alford etc. (Kurfees, Chap 2 & 14) This list may be extended to: Walter Bauer, Gerhard Delling, AT Robertson, Alfred Plummer, FF Bruce, Charles Hodge etc (Bales, pgs 121 & 136). In Bales 277-279, information pertaining to religious leaders cum bodies that rejected instrumental music is captured. Some from the Baptist persuasion fall under this category.

    The Context is King:
    The Baptist Davies cited Liddell & Scott for the following definition of PSALMOS: “TO PLAY ON THE HARP OR OTHER STRINGED INSTRUMENT.” Was the harp or some other stringed instrument inherent in PSALMOS? Unless some sources – secular and/or religious – are presented as confirmatory evidence, the argument of the Baptist Davies hangs on a fine thread. Since he referred to PSALMS (in Hebrew, MIZMOR), David & Ps 150 to underscore his point, to these same sources we shall do our investigation. Psalms are to be sung while playing on the harp or other stringed instrument. How will anyone else ever know that such is the case if there is not the slightest hint of musical instrument/s in the context? Truly, nobody can or will ever know! The instrument has to be stipulated in the context of any verse in Psalms to give weight to their argument. For instance, consider the following verses:
    Psalms 33:2 (KJV) Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.

    Psalms 71:22 (KJV) I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.

    Psalms 149:3 (KJV) Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.
    [Other similar verses are: Ps 98:5; Ps 144:9 & Ps 147:7.]

    It should not escape our notice that the ACTUAL instrument (harp or otherwise) is CLEARLY SPECIFIED IN THE CONTEXT of each verse. This is the strongest indication that the instrument is NOT inherent in PSALMS (or even in PSALLO).

    The Parallel & Complementary Witnesses of Eph 5:19 & Col 3:16:
    With this controversial subject in mind, the Bible – in particular, the Law of Christ – is the Final Court of Appeal. We note that lexicographers clashed in the definitions of PSALLO & PSALMOS. The final say must thus be derived from the Scriptures. In this wise, the parallel and complementary witnesses of Eph 5:19 & Col 3:16 are, in my judgment, beyond a shadow of a doubt, decisive.

    Consider the two verses:
    Ephesians 5:19 (KJV) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;  [A]

    Colossians 3:16 (KJV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  [B]

    Item #1 The Goal of Singing:
    [A] Speaking to yourselves
    [B} teaching and admonishing one another
    Whether [A] or [B], VOCAL music fulfils the divinely designated goals – speaking to yourselves and teaching and admonishing one another congregationally. Instrumental music falls short of this divine mandate.

    Item #2 The Medium of Our Singing:
    [A] & [B] in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs

    Item #3 The SPECIFIC TYPE of Music Required:
    [A] & [B] SINGING
    The following insightful comment of a Christian Church preacher certainly helps us to understand the negative impact of instrumental music on vocal singing in the context of congregational worship:
    One preacher for the Christian Church, in Kansas, lamented this fact. He was frank enough to admit that when they had no pianist, everyone sang. When the piano was used only a little more than half sang. But after they bought a new organ, he said it was quite noticeable that hardly a third of the congregation sang. [Instrumental Music In The Worship, by Maurice A. Merideth, pg 7. Available at: http://www.christianhomesite.com/belfast/text/Instrumental.htm ]

    Item #4 The Mandated Silent Accompaniment:
    [A} and making melody in your heart
    [B] with grace in your hearts
    Making melody is translated from PSALLO. As per Thayer’s definition for the New Testament period, it means ‘to sing a hymn.’ [Kurfees, pg 14. Sophocles definition is similar.] NO mechanical instrument of music is involved! The instrument (if any) is of a figurative nature – involving the metaphorical or spiritual heart. Indeed, this is the LIMIT of ‘instrumental’ usage in New Testament worship. That should be the EXTENT of our praises unto God. The Lord God requires of His worshippers mandatory heart participation. As pointed out, we SING & PSALLO (which is also to sing) – plucking the strings of the heart. Or … as another in Kurfees, pg 156, explained: Singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord, the heart moving devoutly with the voice.
    The heart fully participates in praise of God. It would mean the active involvement of the spirit and understanding. (1Cor 14:15) The heart is stirred to respond joyously, yet appropriately, to the lyrics of psalms, hymns or spiritual songs. (Jas 5:13) The heart earnestly seeks the grace coming from the throne of God. (Col 3:16)

    Merideth wisely commented:
    No person’s worship can be acceptable to God without the sentiment of the song strikes across the vibrant chords of one’s heart, and springing from adoration to God’s Holy Name, gives vent to the unbounded love that possesses the heart of man. Without the accompaniment of this “instrument” that God placed within the human breast, our song is worse than an empty sound. [Merideth, pg 9]

    Item #5 The Person to whom Our Singing is Directed / The Praise Recipient:
    [A] & [B] to the Lord

    Overall, in making music as per the divine directive, what then – aside from that silent component – is left? SINGING (Item #3). That’s all that the Lord God has designated as His preferred form of music in praise of Him. Simply put, that’s all there is! Other verses (Rm 15:9; 1Cor 14:15; Heb 2:12; Jas 5:13) having a bearing on this issue specify SING. Thus it’s VOCAL music ONLY with the solid endorsement of Heaven. Such is the thundering silence of that handful of verses when it comes to mechanical instruments of music. Yet the ‘conjurors of magic’ are insistent that PSALLO and PSALMOS come with the harp (or whatever else) accompaniment in the context of the New Testament. Surely we should know better not to follow the multitude to do evil (Exo 23:2).
    David Pyles shrewdly observed:
    … the word singing is translated from ado. … there is no ambiguity as to the meaning of ado. Thayer says of it, “common in Greek of every period … ‘to sing, chant’.” That is, regardless of the Greek era one chooses to examine, the meaning of this word is consistently to sing or chant, without any reference to musical instruments. Further, the Greek authorities, though giving varied meanings for psallo, are in unanimous agreement on ado. Finally, observe that these scriptures (Eph 5:19 & Col 3:16 – wycg) describe only two contributories to music in worship; namely, the voice and the heart. [Pg 3 of his excellent article entitled: Implications of the Greek Term Psallo for Church Music. Available at: http://www.pb.org/pbdocs/psallo.html%5D
    [In pg 4, Pyles’ 2-paragraph treatment pertaining to the classical writings of Josephus, Plutarch and Lucian during the New Testament period is invaluable. It’s good that we read it.]

    Christians are thus obligated to SING and to SING ONLY. Going beyond the bounds set by God endanger our own souls. (2 Jn 9) When David ignorantly did things his own way with regards to the transportation of the ark of the covenant, Uzzah died. (2Sam 6:6-7) This fully reflects the great wrath and evident displeasure of Jehovah when the due order as ordained by Him was ignored or inadvertently bypassed. (1Chron 15:2, 13)

    The Lord God had spoken. It is paramount that we humbly listen (1Sam 3:9-10) if we truly seek His approval for our eternal home. Had He wanted us to SING and PLAY, HE WOULD HAVE SAID SO as He did in the Psalms of David. The problem lies not with God being unable to express Himself clearly. It lies with a great host of lexicographers cum their avid worshippers who would follow the imagination of their evil hearts. [Jer 7:24; Jer 9:14 etc]

    Of Ps 150:
    Since Ps 150 was brought to our attention by the Baptist Davies, we will oblige to give a ready defense. The psalms of David are essentially part of the Law of Moses.
    [Proofs of Davidic Psalms being a part of the Old Law are as follows:
    Jn 10:34  Ps 82:6
    In Jn 10:34, Jesus cited from the law. That quotation was taken from Ps 82:6. Thus the psalms of David are part and parcel of the Law of Moses. The same approach may be applied to the next two rows of verses.
    Jn 15:25  Ps 35:19; Ps 69:4
    Rm 3:10-18  Ps 14:1-4; Ps 5:9; Ps 140:3; Ps 10:7; Ps 36:1]

    If we will single out Ps 150 as justifying the use of musical instruments in New Testament worship, we should embrace the entire Law of Moses – lock, stock & barrel. Why root for Ps 150 as authorizing instrumental music today and not be equally conscientious in the observances of the sabbath, animal sacrifices, the burning of incense, the three annual feasts etc?
    [Consider the following:
    Ps 81:3 (the new moon and feast day are mentioned)
    Ps 20:3 (offerings & burnt sacrifice are mentioned. Also: Ps 51:19, Ps 66:15)
    Ps 87:7 (the singers as the players are mentioned)
    Ps 92:1 (a song to be played on the Sabbath is mentioned)]

    In fact, the Baptists should not just sing and play. They should – as per Ps 150 – sing, play and DANCE. Harps and stringed instruments will not suffice – as per Liddell & Scott definition for PSALMOS! They need to include the trumpet, the psaltery, the timbrel, the organs as well as the loud, high sounding cymbals. If they fail to do so, they sin.

    If Ps 150 is good tonic (as per the Baptist Davies), it is advisable that the Baptists go the full distance in praise of God today! Take a look at:
    Psalms 47:1 (KJV) O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.
    Do the Baptists CLAP & SHOUT as well in the context of New Testament worship? They should if they do not wish to offend God and thus sin against Him.

    [By the way, the Jews were bound by the Law of Moses – and not PSALLO – to use instrumental music in temple worship – regardless of the timeframe.
    At the cross, the demands of that law (inclusive of the Psalms of David) came to an end (Eph 2:14-15) – regardless of whether the bigoted Jews perpetuated that temple practice following the death of Christ, come heaven or hell.]

    Facts That Cannot Be Easily Brushed Aside!
    What are these facts that should not be ignored in consideration of the controversial issue at hand? Consider the following compelling points:

    1. The music of the primitive Christians, together with the apostles of Christ, was strictly VOCAL.
    The historical evidence resoundingly indicates that the early Christians, many of whom were conversant in the Greek language, did not understand psallo and psalmos as admitting musical instruments. The number of historians attesting to the fact that music in the early church was exclusively vocal, and that musical instruments were prohibited, is practically endless. The following is but a sample:
    There can be no doubt that originally the music of the divine service was every where entirely of a vocal nature. (Emil Nauman, The History of Music, Vol. 1, p. 177) [Pyles, pgs 6-7]

    Pyles also cited Andrew Fuller of the Baptist communion:
    The history of the church during the first three centuries affords many instances of primitive Christians engaging in singing, but no mention, (that I recollect) is made of instruments. (If my memory does not deceive me) it originated in the dark ages of popery, when almost every other superstition was introduced. At present, it is most used where the least regard is paid to primitive simplicity. (Andrew Fuller, Complete works of Andrew Fuller, Vol 3, p. 520) [Pyles, pg 8]

    2. In praise of God, the Jews of the synagogue and the early Christians were on common ground. The psalms of David were sung without musical instruments.
    Citing various authorities (Gerhard Delling, McKinnon & Roberts), Bales wrote:
    … the Jewish synagogue in Jesus’ day read and sang psalms without instrumental accompaniment. They used psalms, songs, and hymns interchangeably. [Bales, 61]

    The Jewish synagogues both before and after the time of Christ did not use instrumental music. (Winfred C. Douglas, Church Music in History and Practice, 15 …) [Bales, 259]

    3. The so-called Church fathers or patristic fathers would not countenance the use of instrumental music in Christian worship. Their condemnation against its use was not only uniform but also scathing.
    Many of the fathers, speaking of religious song, make no mention of instruments; others, like Clement of Alexandria and St. Chrysostom, refer to them only to denounce them. [Pyles, pg7]

    Citing J. W. Roberts, Bales wrote:
    The “church fathers” rejected instrumental music in worship. When they spoke of psalms being accompanied they were speaking about Old Testament times, … [Bales, 61]

    … McKinnon wrote: “If the casual reader of patristic denunciations of musical instruments is struck by their vehemence, the systematic investigator is surprised by another characteristic: their uniformity. The attitude of opposition to instruments was virtually monolithic even though it was shared by men of diverse temperaments and different regional back¬grounds, and even though it extended over a span of at least two centuries of changing fortunes for the Church. [Bales, 138]

    4. The Greek Orthodox Church, whose members were evidently conversant with the language of their birth, rejected instrumental music in worship.
    Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia:
    In the Greek Church the organ never came into use. But after the eighth century it became more and more common in the Latin Church; not, however, without opposition from the side of the monks. –Vol. 2, p. 1702. [Kurfees, pg 152]

    McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia:
    The Greek word ψαλλω [PSALLO – wycg] is applied among the Greeks of modern times exclusively to sacred music, which in the Eastern Church has never been any other than vocal, instrumental music being unknown in that Church, as it was in the primitive Church. –Vol. VIII., p. 739. [Kurfees, pg 153]

    Why this outright ban on instrumental music by the Eastern Church in praising God if instrumental music inheres in PSALLO or PSALMOS? Are the lexicographers (whose definitions are to the contrary) cum those of the Baptist Davies’ camp in possession of more advanced Greek than these natural-born Greeks?
    5. The 47 translators of the KJV as well as the 111 translators of the Revised Version – representing the ripest scholars in their generations – were unanimous in translating PSALMOS as PSALMS and PSALLO as MAKING MELODY (in Eph 5:19) or SING (in Col 3:16 & other relevant verses).
    In fact, the translators of all the standard versions were almost invariably members of churches that use instruments! Yet, on the basis of corporate authority as well as their consciences, they offered the Bible-reading world a blanket of silence regarding mechanical instrument of music in New Testament worship. This fact certainly has to be significant. Since they did not translate PSALLO or PSALMOS as to admit or imply musical accompaniment, it may be reasonably inferred that the evidence was not cooperative with their predispositions. [Pyles, pg 6]
    6. The early denominations, inclusive of the early Baptists, were staunchly opposed to the deployment of mechanical instruments of music in worship.
    Note the comment of John Spencer Curwen in Kurfees, pg 146:
    Men still living can remember the time when organs were very seldom found outside the Church of England. The Methodists, Independents, and Baptists rarely had them, and by the Presbyterians they were stoutly opposed. But since these bodies began to introduce organs, the adoption of them has been unchecked. Even the Presbyterians are giving away, and if we read the future by the past, we can hardly doubt that, in a few years, unaccompanied singing will very seldom be heard. Yet, even in the Church of England itself, organs did not obtain admission without much controversy.–Studies in Worship Music, p. 179.

    Of the Baptists themselves, Pyles in pg 8 makes this contribution:
    Further, it is a well established fact that Baptist churches opposed musical instruments until modern times. …
    Pyles quoted Posey:
    For years the Baptists fought the introduction of instrumental music into the churches… Installation of the organ brought serious difficulties in many churches. (Wm. B. Posey, The Baptist Church In The Lower Mississippi Valley)
    Pyles also cited Benedict thus:
    Staunch old Baptists in former times would as soon tolerated the Pope of Rome in their pulpits as an organ in their galleries, and yet the instrument has gradually found its way among them… (Benedict, Fifty Years Among the Baptists, pgs. 204-207)

    Who then is right at this point – the forefathers of the Baptists (who were non-instrumentalists) or those in the camp of the Baptist Davies? If the above evidences still have not convinced Baptists who were limping over two opinions, consider a Baptist whose name is certainly well-known throughout the so-called Christendom.

    7. Charles Spurgeon, who ministered to thousands of Baptists at his Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, steered clear of mechanical instruments of music in praise of God. He declined to do so on the ground of 1 Cor 14:15:
    “I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the understanding also, I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. I would as soon pray to God with machinery as to sing to God with machinery.” [Available at: http://www.puritanboard.com/f124/musical-instruments-worship-24703/%5D
    It is indeed strange that lesser Baptists like Davies should clamor for instrumental music while the best known Baptist of all (i.e. Charles Spurgeon) rejected its use throughout his 20-year ministry!

    Harps or Hearts?
    Ultimately, the issue is one of faith and obedience (2 Cor 5:7 & Rm 16:26). Even as the friend of the bridegroom must give way to the bridegroom (Jn 3:29-30), the schoolmaster (symbolic of the Law of Moses – Gal 3:23-24) must ultimately surrender its role unto the Lawgiver, i.e. Christ (Jas 4:12). The shadow of the old Law (Heb 10:1) must be replaced by the substance (i.e. the Law of Christ). The Law of Moses was abolished at the cross. (Eph 2:15) To Christ and Christ alone we’re told to HEAR YE HIM. (Mt 17:5)

    Faithfulness is one of the hallmarks of the triune God. In 1Cor 10:13, we learn that God is faithful. In 1Pet 4:19, we are to entrust our souls unto a faithful Creator. Of Jesus, the following Scriptures bear testimony to His faithfulness:
    John 12:49-50 (KJV) 49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
    In the same wise, the Holy Spirit demonstrated His faithfulness thus:
    John 16:13 (KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

    In Heb 3:2, the faithfulness of Moses is mentioned. As a servant of Jehovah, one of his outstanding traits was doing as per the direction of Jehovah. In Exo 39-40 alone, we see this man of God implementing the blueprint (in the setting up of the tabernacle) without a deviation. No less than 14 times it was said of him that he did as the LORD commanded Moses. (Exo 29:1, 5, 7, 21, 26, 29, 31; Exo 40:19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 32) Certainly, this glowing testimony of Moses’ faithfulness is significant. As servants of Christ, how then can faithfulness on our part be expressed if we decided to PLAY AND SING when the command to us is simply to SING?

    The Father has spoken through His Son (Jn 12:48-50): Our praises unto Him should go no further than the sacrifices of the lips (Heb 13:15) conjoint with the heart participation (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16). Anything less than that will not do. Anything more than that will not please Him. Nadab and Abihu died attempting something new, something strange – something which the Lord God had not commanded. (Lev 10:1-2) Their innovative offering was tantamount to not sanctifying and not glorying God before the congregation. (Lev 10:3)
    All who profess the name of Christ should realize that doing their own thing (instead of Col 3:17) – like Nadab and Abihu – in the name of the Christian religion is the perfect recipe for stirring up His wrath. Neither can we live in true obedience to His will when we deem it our right to introduce instruments of music in praise of Him – something which He did not command in the context of New Testament worship.

    For those of the Baptist Davies’ camp, who will clamor for harps rather than hearts, things do get a tad tricky and confounding when it come to hymns and spiritual songs. Are they to be sung with harps or without harps? In truth, if harps are divinely mandated, no worshipper can please God without it! For one or some to play their harp/s and for others to sing in New Testament worship is not a viable option! To do so is to transgress the mandates of Heaven. All must play and sing in fulfillment of Heaven’s will! One wonders whether the Baptists (who are of the same doctrinal bent as the Baptist Davies) realize the full import of their PSALLO or PSALMOS argument.

    When we deem it our inalienable right to do as we please, it is only appropriate that we be described as self-willed. Introducing into New Testament worship that which is without divine sanction is, in effect, not walking by faith. That which is not of faith is sin. (Rm 14:23) Death ensues when we do what is seemingly right in our own eyes. (Prov 14:12)

    Harps or hearts? Conclusively, the HEART has been specified as the instrument. (Eph 5:19) Under the Old Testament, it was the HARPS. Under the New Testament, it is the HEARTS. Many lexicographers cast their votes for the HARPS. The finality of the Word of God, in the context of New Testament worship, is with the HEARTS. As to whose words carry more weight – Jehovah God or that of the lexicographers (like Liddell & Scott) – sufficient evidences have been presented for an informed decision to be made. The choice is ours as to where we will take our stand.

    In Summary:
    The following remark from the pen of Jim Massey is apt:
    Musical instruments in Christian worship must be rejected because the Lord never authorized them, the apostles never sanctioned them, the New Testament writers never commanded them, the apostolic churches never used them, no standard translation includes them, and early Christians never allowed them. Let us psallo as early Christians did that we may be exactly what they were.
    [Does ‘Sing’ Mean Also ‘To Play’? Available at: http://www.christianhomesite.com/belfast/text/Instrumental.htm%5D

    I’ll end by inviting everyone to seriously consider the wise comments of Dr. Bill Crump. These comments are extracted from his blog dated 2nd and 3rd Feb 2006.

    The final analysis: Does the NT specifically forbid instruments as such? No. Does the NT specifically authorize instruments as such? No. But does the NT have something to say about music in worship? YES. The NT specifically mentions singing and making melody in the heart to the Lord. As I said in another thread, singing and making heartfelt melody to the Lord (not to ourselves) is a form of worship, whether we are alone or with other Christians together.

    Why is it necessary to try to get around what the NT says about music in worship? Can’t we just take the NT at face value, do what it says, and not let our personal preferences and desires make us second-guess it? Is it that important to have mechanical instruments in worship, when the NT only mentions singing from the heart? Since the NT specifies singing but doesn’t mention instruments, the inference is that heartfelt singing is all that God desires from Christians as far as worship music is concerned; any other musical augmentation would be superfluous and would not please Him.

    So will those who worship with instruments be damned to hell? I have no authority to say one way or another. All I can tell our readers is that since the NT addresses music in worship, it is by no means a “moot point.” We can argue and agonize about using instruments, but if we really want to please God, we should completely trust the NT at face value, neither adding anything to it, nor removing anything from it. (2 Feb 2006)

    To follow what the New Testament has definitively written about singing with melody from the heart in worship is to stand on firm ground. To second-guess the New Testament and add instruments when the New Testament has written absolutely nothing about them is to stand on unstable ground. Furthermore, using instruments adds to the NT what is not written in the NT, thus violating Rev. 22:18. Rejecting instruments neither adds to nor takes away from what is written about music (singing) in the NT. Christians have no authority to implement in worship musical alternatives to what the NT has specifically written about music (singing) in worship.

    Be safe. Don’t gamble. Stand firm on what is written in the NT about singing, not on what is absent from the New Testament about instruments. (3 Feb 2006)
    [ Available at: http://www.network54.com/Forum/187069/thread/1107642712/last-1139965246/%26quot%3BBoswell-Hardeman+Discussion+on+Instrumental+Music+in+the+Worship%26quot%3B%5D

    May the above article, as it is with those articles previously posted, be a blessing to all truth-seekers.

    Warmest rgds to you & all at home.

    In Christ,

    Yu Chung

  6. Hi Bro. Ethan:

    Greetings. Wishing you a Happy New Year!

    This is my last posting in which I’ll like to deal with Q56 to Q58 – questions in 101 Questions which pertain to Acts 2:38.

    56. “If Peter preached Baptism, FOR or IN ORDER TO REMISSION OF SINS in Acts 2:38, why did he not preach the same thing to Cornelius in Acts 10:42,43?”
    Why did Peter not preach repentance in Acts 10:42, 43? Likewise, why didn’t he preach repentance to the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8? Why didn’t Paul likewise preach repentance to the Philippian Jailor in Acts 16? Once the Baptist Davies (and those of his persuasion) has answered these questions, he would have answered Q56.

    The truth of the matter is: The WHOLE of anything (e.g. a jigsaw puzzle) is the SUM of all its PARTS. Thus, we search all the relevant Scriptures that have a bearing on the subject (in this case, salvation) – from God’s perspective (i.e. in terms of what He had done for us) and man’s perspective (i.e. in terms of what man must do in order to be saved). Having done that, we will get a WHOLISTIC picture of what the Lord God had done for us & HOW we ought to respond in FULL obedience – no more and no less. Homing in on the scriptures pertaining to man’s perspective, we will fully realize why faith only will not suffice to save us. The wholistic (or overall) picture presented by the pens of inspiration (as pertaining unto the essential components of salvation) is simple and clear for an alien sinner:
    1. He needs to hear the word of God. (Acts 11:14; Rm 10:17)
    2. He needs to believe in Christ and His message of salvation. (Jn 3:16; Mk 16:16)
    3. He has to repent of his sins. (Lk 13:3; Acts 2:38)
    4. He must confess his faith in Christ. (Rm 10:9-10; Acts 8:37)
    5. He is then baptized for the remission of sins. (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16)

    Having done ALL that Heaven exacted of him – in all that God said, in the way He said it, in the manner He ordered it, for the purpose He intended it – the alien sinner becomes a child of God. Anything less or more than that disqualifies us from being part of the Kingdom of Christ, which is also the Lord’s church, the Church of Christ. (Rev 22:18-19; Gal 1:8-9; 1Cor 9:27) Any man who does what is right in his own eyes can never be blessed in the sight of God. (Prov 14:12)
    Repentance and baptism bear the same relationship to the remission of sins. Dr Hackett (1808-1875), a Baptist of note, candidly observed:
    “eis aphesin hamartion, in order to the forgiveness of sins, (Matthew 26:28,Luke 3:3,) we connect, naturally, with both the preceding verbs. This clause states the motive or object which should induce them to repent and be baptized. It enforces the entire exhortation, not one part of it to the exclusion of the other.” [Available at: http://www.studylight.org/com/oca/view.cgi?book=ac&chapter=002%5D
    The wonder of it all is that the Baptists regarded repentance as mandatory unto salvation and baptism as otherwise (i.e. not necessary unto salvation).

    Of his own brethren who had tampered with the edicts of Heaven (by switching baptism from before to after remission of sins, Gale (1680-1721), an English Baptist, gave the following wise counsel:
    Baptism, I grant, is of great necessity ; and though I dare fix no limits to the infinite goodness and mercy of God, which I am confident he will give mighty proofs of, in great instances of kindness towards all sincere, though mistaken men ; however the gospel-rule is, according to the doctrine of the apostle, to repent, and be baptized, for the remission of sins. We should be very cautious therefore of making any change in these things, lest we deprive ourselves, through our presumption, of that title to pardon, without which there is no salvation. (http://www.archive.org/stream/historyofinfantb02walluoft/historyofinfantb02walluoft_djvu.txt)

    More than a century ago, Robert Halley (1792-1876), an English Congregationalist, noted the signification of EIS in the light of both gospel commands (repentance and baptism) in Acts 2:38. His compelling arguments, which simply cannot be ignored, are as follows:
    Not only does the preposition eis refer to the future and prospective relation of the remission of sins, but it does so with the same dependence on baptism as on repentance. The signification of eis must correspond in its relation to both words: ‘repent’ and ‘be baptized.’ In what sense does the Apostle use the preposition, when he says, ‘Repent for the remission of sins?’ The remission of sins is obviously represented not as preceding repentance, but as subsequent to it. The preposition has its meaning clearly defined by its relation to the word ‘repent.’ Used only once, it cannot have two interpretations thrust upon it. It must connect the remission of sins with both words – ‘repent’ and ‘be baptized,’ by one and the same relation. If it be ‘repent for the remission of sins,’ it must also be ‘be baptized for the remission of sins.’ Let those who deny this, say by what canon of syntax they can construe the passage so as to obtain the interpretation – Repent for the remission of sins, and be baptized after this remission.” [Available at: http://www.moellerhaus.com/Rotherham/milner.htm%5D

    If repentance is mandatory for the Baptists, then salvation assuredly cannot be on the basis of faith ONLY. If faith only saves, then repentance is redundant or not necessary. So then, is repentance necessary or not necessary? If somehow the Baptists manage to sneak in repentance (as a prerequisite for salvation for alien sinners), through that same door baptism for remission of sins will come in!
    Be it noted that the command to believe was not mentioned by the apostle Peter in Acts 2:38. If the Baptists insist that it is implied in Acts 2, it would have to be at the point of Acts 2:37. Yet, those who were conscience-stricken in Acts 2:37 responded: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Evidently they were not saved then as they were told to repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins … (Acts 2:38)

    Thus, it is clear as daylight that faith only does not saved – contrary to the firm conviction of the Baptists. Faith ONLY is the clarion call of the Baptists – NOT the law of Christ. Nowhere can such a doctrine be sustained in the Scriptures – particularly the New Testament. The only time FAITH ONLY is brought to our attention as per the Scriptures, the pen of inspiration added a NOT to it – Jas 2:24. It is also evident that such a faith is DEAD, BEING ALONE. (Jas 2:17)
    Beyond an iota of a doubt, on the basis of what’s being plainly revealed by the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, faith PRECEDES repentance – contrary to the Baptists’ belief. If repentance precedes faith, we’re led to conclude that the Lord God accepts the repentance of a faithless man! Yet the Scriptures is explicit in stating that without faith it is impossible to please Him. (Heb 11:6) How then can such a repentance – as per the theology of the Baptists – be pleasing unto God?

    57. “In your sugar text which you yourself do not understand (Acts 2:38) how many words BETWEEN the word BAPTISM and the word REMISSION? You will have to cut 11 words out of your text before you can JOIN BAPTISM TO REMISSION OF SIN. What means these 11 words — which you and your brethren always avoid?”

    The Golden Rule of Interpretation states:
    WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE OF SCRIPTURE MAKES COMMON SENSE, SEEK NO OTHER SENSE; THEREFORE, TAKE EVERY WORD AT ITS PRIMARY, ORDINARY, USUAL, LITERAL MEANING UNLESS THE FACTS OF THE IMMEDIATE CONTEXT, STUDIED IN THE LIGHT OF RELATED PASSAGES AND AXIOMATIC AND FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS INDICATE CLEARLY OTHERWISE.
    [http://www.biblicalresearch.info/page47.html]

    The PLAIN or OBVIOUS sense of Acts 2:38 is as stated by the Baptist Davies in Q56: Peter preached Baptism, FOR or IN ORDER TO REMISSION OF SINS. As per the Golden Rule of Interpretation above: WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE OF SCRIPTURE MAKES COMMON SENSE, SEEK NO OTHER SENSE. Obviously the Baptist Davies does not seem to understand this hermeneutical principle.

    As noted in my response to Q56 above, repentance and baptism bear the same relationship to the remission of sins in Acts 2:38. It is also observed that MORE words separate REPENTANCE and REMISSION OF SINS. Would it still be a problem for the Baptists to understand that repentance is mandatory unto salvation? Surely not!
    As it stands in the text, the Lord God had joined repentance and baptism unto remission of sins. Shall we then put them (i.e. repentance and baptism) asunder? (Mt 19:6)

    As per Acts 2:38, the inspired words of the apostle Peter are calculated to construe the following thoughts, which are evidently PLAIN:
    1. Repentance AND baptism are pre-conditions of salvation.
    2. Repentance and baptism PRECEDE salvation.
    3. Repentance is UNTO remission of sin; so is baptism for the same reason.
    4. EVERYONE, who would be saved, has to COMPLY with the heavenly dictates.
    5. NO exception is contemplated here.
    6. BOTH commandments issued bear the divine stamp of approval – in the name or by the authority of Jesus Christ.

    58. “What is the Greek Word translated or rather Anglicized into the word Christ in Acts 2:38? Why don’t you put the exact Greek word in the text and then read Acts 2:38 to your people and quit making a childish play on the preposition FOR? When you do this you find complete harmony with Acts 10:43 and John 3:16. -Just a little kink right here give the people the original there- you won’t have to notice the preposition so technically.”
    The last statement in Q58 is indeed troubling. Suggesting ‘a little kink’ in Acts 2:38 and that we need not ‘notice the preposition so technically’ is to suggest that the Holy Spirit is FLAWED in His choice of words in Acts 2:38. In spite of the fact that the Lord God honours His Word above His name (Ps 138:2), the Baptist Davies is – in effect – telling the world that a person does not need to take His Word too seriously. We would prefer to believe that such is not the case. The flaw lies in the understanding of the Baptist Davies (seeing EIS as capable of a retrospective force, i.e. BECAUSE OF or ON ACCOUNT OF) rather than in the ability of the Holy Spirit to communicate the truth to the world. (Jn 8:32) The Baptists would want the world to understand that it was because of remission of sins that a person is baptized. Such an understanding, unfortunately for the Baptist Davies (and those of his stripes and colors), is prevented by the Holy Spirit!

    Mt 26:28 poses an insurmountable barrier to the ‘BECAUSE OF’ understanding of EIS.
    Matthew 26:28 (KJV) For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

    The phrase ‘for the remission of sins’ in Mt 26:28 is similar to that in Acts 2:38- eis aphesin hamartiōn. Why did Christ shed His blood? Is it BECAUSE OF the fact that the sins of the world had already been remitted? Not so! It has to mean – in the usual prospective force of EIS – that His blood was shed FOR THE PURPOSE OF (the forgiveness of sins), UNTO (the remission of sins) or IN ORDER TO remit the sins of the world. Since that is the irresistible force of EIS in Mt 26:28, EIS has that same compelling force in Acts 2:38. A.T. Robertson was driven by both logic and conscience to comment in his Word Pictures: The purpose of the shedding of his blood of the New Covenant was precisely to remove (forgive) sins.
    [http://www.studylight.org/com/rwp/view.cgi?book=mt&chapter=026&verse=028]
    [Another way of understanding Robertson’s remarkable statement is this: The ‘BECAUSE OF’ understanding of EIS simply has no place in the sacred Scriptures!]

    C.B. Williams gave the world the Williams New Testament. In Acts 2:38, his translation reads:
    Peter said to them, ‘You must repent–and, as an expression of it, let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ–that you may have your sins forgiven; and then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’
    Even in Mt 12:41, he would not translate EIS with a retrospective force. The following is from his pen:
    “The men of Nineveh will rise with the leaders at the judgement and condemn them, for they turned to the message preached by Jonah, and there is more than Jonah here!”
    Evidently, this illustrious Baptist scholar translated EIS with its customary prospective force. He could have seized the opportunity to translate EIS as ‘BECAUSE OF.’ He did not. We can be sure that he certainly knew what he was doing. Translating EIS as ‘BECAUSE OF’ would only jeopardize his reputation in the Bible-translating world as a top-notch Greek scholar.

    As per Acts 2:38, to force EIS to adopt a retrospective force – in accordance to the theology of the Baptists – is to superimpose our theology upon that of the Scriptures! It is muddying the pristine waters of the gospel. Whatever differs from the Scriptures differs from the mind of God. The Lord God brooks no deviation from whatever He had always intended – be it in Acts 2:38 or otherwise. (Gal 1:8-9) When the Baptists in Acts 2:38 force a meaning of ‘BECAUSE OF’ upon EIS (in order to fit their theology), they do it presumptuously. True, the preposition ‘FOR’ may carry the meaning of ‘BECAUSE OF’ in English. Such is not possible in Greek. In all honesty, all who resorted to such deceitful means (be it on the Net or otherwise) are not winning converts for Christ. They make converts unto themselves – contrary to the will of the Master. They are, in truth, workers of deceit. This is a sad commentary of any religious group whose theology meant more to them than the plain will of the Master. (Mt 7:21)

    [We should always drink the PURE water of the gospel at the SOURCE. Drinking the water that has been polluted 1600 years downstream is hazardous to our spiritual health.]
    [An instance where EIS is perverted with the meaning of ‘BECAUSE OF’ is found at the following link: http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/view.cgi?number=1519%5D

    I’ll close with the keen observations of a discerning and outstanding Baptist in his generation, Willmarth. Astonishingly, his unflinching stand for the truth put him at odds with his brethren. His eyebrow-raising testimony in 1877 on EIS will stand against his own brethren in Judgment. Here’s an extract of what he wrote:
    It is feared that if we give to eis its natural and obvious meaning, undue importance will be ascribed to Baptism, the Atonement will be undervalued, and the word of the Holy Spirit will be disparaged. Especially is it asserted that here is the vital issue between Baptists and Campbellites. We are gravely told that if we render eis in Acts ii:38 in order to, we give up the battle, and must forthwith become Campbellites; whereas if we translate it on account of, or in token of, it will yet be possible for us to remain Baptists.
    Such methods of interpretation are unworthy of Christian scholars. It is our business, simply and honestly, to ascertain the exact meaning of the inspired originals, as the sacred penmen intended to convey it to the mind of the contemporary reader. Away with the question – “What ought Peter to have said in the interest of orthodoxy?” The real question is, “What did Peter say, and what did he mean, when he spoke on the Day of Pentecost, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?”
    But having entered this caveat, as a lawyer might say, it may do no harm to show that dogmatic dangers here exist only in imagination. The natural and obvious interpretation cannot give undue importance to Baptism, for Baptism is here united with Repentance and Faith. It cannot undervalue the Atonement, for Baptism is one resting upon, and deriving all its value from, the name of the Lamb of God; and this is distinctly understood by the person baptized, who submits to the rite as a believer in that name. It cannot disparage the work of the Spirit, since he alone effectually calls men to Repentance and Faith; and it is by (Greek en, in, with the influence of) one Spirit that we are all baptized into one body, i. e., the Spirit leads the penitent sinner to Baptism and blesses the rite. And as to Campbellism, that spectre which haunts many good men and terrifies them into a good deal of bad interpretation, shall we gain anything by maintaining a false translation and allowing the Campbellites to be champions of the true, with the world’s scholarship on their side, as against us? Whoever carries the weight of our controversy with the Campbellites upon the eis will break through – there is no footing for the evolutions of the theological skater. Shall we never learn that Truth has nothing to fear from a true interpretation of any part of God’s word, and nothing to gain from a false one?
    The truth will suffer nothing by giving to eis its true signification. When Campbellites translate in order to in Acts 2:38 they translate correctly. Is a translation false because Campbellites endorse it?
    — “Baptism and Remission”
    Baptist Quarterly, July 1877, 304-305)

    [We have addressed the issue of being termed ‘Campbellites’ in a previous posting. That aside, there is very little of Willmarth’s writings reflected above or below that members of the Church of Christ can disagree with.
    Willmarth’s treatment of EIS is indeed first-class. The outflow of his penetrating thoughts coupled with his unbending stand for the truth makes his historic treatise of EIS a compelling read. From the lucid mind and prolific pen of this man, Willmarth explained why ‘on account of’ is simply an unacceptable meaning of EIS.]

    Suppose we force eis in Acts ii. 38 to bear the unnatural and unauthorized meaning of “on account of.” After all we have gained nothing. Other passages there are which cannot be explained away. Thus our Saviour said, just before he ascended the heavens: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. We shall hardly dare to tamper with his royal word and make it run, He that believeth and is saved shall be baptized. And unless we do thus change his saying, we have by the highest authority, an importance attributed to Baptism certainly not less than that given to it in Acts ii. 38, translated according to its obvious meaning. What then is the advantage of violently torturing eis, the construction and the context? – Baptism and Remission, in Baptist Quarterly, July, 1877, p. 306.

    Willmarth’s eye-popping evaluation of EIS in the context of Acts 2:38 must have sent shock waves and consternation throughout the Baptist communion. Three decades or so later, concerned Baptists wondered whether Willmarth had repudiated his earlier conviction reflected above. The following is Willmarth’s response published in the same paper dated Mar 8, 1911: The general position taken in that article I have maintained for the last third of a century and still maintain. I do not see how it can be overthrown if we follow the New Testament.

    That the Church of Christ is spot-on (i.e. 100% correct) in Acts 2:38 as per the subject of salvation, I have not a particle of doubt. That the Baptists are in error regarding EIS (with their BECAUSE OF or retrospective understanding) is also beyond doubt. To continue to cruise along the same theological highway merrily and ignoring all the warning signs (STOP! YOU ARE ON THE WRONG TRACK! TURN BACK!) – from Dr. Hackett, Robertson, C.B. Williams, Willmarth etc – is certainly not smart. It is to court certain disaster- the tragic and eternal loss of our precious souls. (Jas 2:10; Mt 16:26)

    To sum up: Had the Baptists humbly and faithfully followed the New Testament in this (i.e. being baptized for the remission of sins – Acts 2:38) and other religious issues, they would have perceived and obeyed the truth for what it is – in the way God said it, in the manner He ordered it and for the purpose He intended it. (Jn 8:32) The crux of the matter is: Will they listen to the voice of the Shepherd? (Jn 10:3, 27) Will they fully obey the unambiguous and certain mandates of Heaven?

    Grace & peace to you and all at home.

    In Christ,

    Yu Chung

  7. Do you believe the book of Revelations has been fullfilled and if so explain it to me please.

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