committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs

 

CATECHISM

OF

ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY

 

Appendix I.

     Question. What does appendix mean?
     Answer. It means something added.
     Q. What is to be added in this instance?
     A. Many things which did not naturally come in the foregoing narratives.
     Q. How old is the church of Christ?
     A. Nearly nineteen hundred years old.
     Q. Can any church, without a connection this old, be the church of Christ?
     A. No.
     Q. Who is its head, and founder?
     A. Jesus Christ, while on earth, founded His church, and became its head, and sole lawgiver.
     Q. Where was it established?
     A. In the land of Palestine.
     Q. Can a church, not historically connected with the o~e Christ constituted, and which has not been kept free from Rome through the ages, be the church of Christ?
     A. No. Any church which does not connect with the apostolic churches, and have Christ as its head, has no right to claim to be a church of Christ. To make a church legitimate, and its ordinances valid, there must be authority coming in regular line from God without any contamination from Rome, either directly or indirectly. As no one can give that he does not have himself, it follows that no one can confer legal baptism if he has not been legally baptized himself and legally set apart to do the work. As Rome has no authority from God, but is the “man of sin,” and is the great arch enemy to God and His church, it follows that Rome nor none who derived their authority from Rome, has a right to administer the ordinances for God, or His church. What would be said if one country or government were, through their officers, to swear in and install the officers of another country or government, and should propose to transact the business of another country? Suppose a commissioned officer of Spain should come to this country, and he should be taken in without naturalization or being re-commissioned, and placed at the head of affairs here. Suppose a man who has been initiated into Odd Fellowship, should be credited for same and recognized as a Mason thercfor.
     Q. If John the Baptist baptized the apostles, the first commissioned officers of the church, and Christ, its divine head, and he himself was never baptized, how can we claim regular commissioned authority from God?
     A. Everything must have a beginning. Just as there had to be a first man , and after that all other men in succession from him, just so there had to be a first church and a first baptism. If these are divine, they must have a divine origin.
     Q. Did the baptism of the Baptists come direct from God.?
     A. It did. Will you hear what the Bible says about the first commissioned Baptist preacher the world ever knew? “There was a man sent from God whose name was John.” John 1.6. “But he that sent me (John the Baptist) to baptize with water,” John 1:33. So we see John’s commission to baptize was direct from heaven.
     Q. How many denominations hold John’s baptism as valid “Christian baptism?”
     A. Just one. The Baptists hold it as Christian baptism, in every way the equal and a part of the line of baptisms of the church today. While all other denominations think it had a place of its own, filled its mission, and is not a part of, or equal in every respect to the baptisms of today.
     Q. Did anyone reject John’s baptism in the days of Christ?
     A. Yes. “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.” Luke 7:30.
     Q. Arc baptists Protestants?
     A. They are not in the common acceptation of that term. That they have always protested against Rome from the very incipiency of Rome to the present, is a fact. And it is also a fact that they have with equal loyalty protested against the heresies of what is known as Protestantism. But that they are Protestants in the sense that they once were connected with Rome, and came out of that body as a Protestant denomination, is a mistake. Rome at the start was made up of apostate brethren from the Baptists. “They went out from us because they were not of us.” Instead of the Baptists being a Protestant denomination from Rome, Rome is an apostacy from the Baptists, the true church.
     Q. How many distinct systems of religious doctrines are there?
     A. Two, and only two, so far as my knowledge extends—the Baptists and Catholics.
     Q. Do you mean to say that the denominations of Protestantism among us have no distinct doctrines of their own?
     A. That is what I mean to say. Their doctrine and practice are patched up from the Baptists and Catholics. Every doctrine they hold is expressly stated by either the Baptists or Catholics, or, it is evolved from the principles one or the other holds.
     Q. Do Baptists and Catholics hold any thing in common with each other?
     A. No. They are the antipodes of each other, and have nothing in common. The only thing which would seem so is, they both believe in a trinity, but their views of the trinity are the poles apart. Just to the extent a Protestant denomination agrees with the Baptists, it disagrees with Rome; and to the extent it agrees with Rome, it disagrees with the Baptists. They are all, a certain percent Roman Catholics. They are the would-be link which would compromise the “chaste bride” of our Lord with the adulterous “man of sin.”
     Q. Can you state some of the points of agreement and disagreement?
     A. I can. Take it from a general point of view. If they hold to salvation by grace. that is the doctrine of Baptists. If they believe in salvation by works, that is Romanism. If they hold to congregational church government, that is Baptist. But just to the extent they leave this and approach centralization, they become that much Romanized. Suppose we itemize. If they believe in election, that is Baptist. If they believe in baptismal salvation, that is Romanism. If they hold the Lord’s Supper simply as a communion of the body and blood of our Lord, composed of emblems, that is Baptist. But if they make a sacrament of it, or consecrate the elements, that is Romanism. If they hold immersion for baptism. that is Baptist. If they believe in sprinkling for baptism, that is Romanism. If they hold to believer’s baptism, that is Baptist. If they believe in infant baptism, that is Romanism. If they elect their own pastor, that is Baptist. If the pastor is appointed for the church, that is Romanism. If all the ministers are of the same rank, that is Baptist. If they are of different rank, that is Romanism.
     Q. What things do Baptists hold and teach which are peculiar to them and are held and taught by no othcr denomination?
     A. 1. They originated during Christ’s personal ministry. 2. They have had a perpetuity from then to the present time. 3. They receive into their membrship only those who give evidences of the new life. 4. They hold John’s baptism to be “Christian baptism.” 5. They have never affiliated with Rome. 6. In church government. 7. They hold nothing in common with Rome. 8. They have never received state aid, even when tendered to them. In the above counts, they are a peculiar people.
     Q. Do Baptists have authoritative creeds and disciplines, put forth by councils or legislative bodies?
     A. No. They have no authoritative creed, or discipline, except the New Testament. They sometimes write out what they call a “Confession of Faith.” This is nothing more than a simple statement of what they understand the Scriptures to teach, put in concise form, without any binding force upon any one. The Bible and the Bible alone, is the only rule of faith and practice among Baptists.

 
 
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