What Is It?
Bro. John W. Broadus, professor of theology in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky., delivered the following statements to his class, upon pulpit affiliation, which have been kindly furnished us by Elder S. M. Province, of Brownsville, Tenn., an old student. There are many thousands of Southern Baptists who will be delighted to learn the exact position Bro. Broadus occupies upon this question. If he doubts for a moment how his invitations are understood, he as well as the reader is referred to the opinions of Bro. Stuart Robinson, and Hodge, and others, in Chapter XII.
"Illustrating the adherence to principle which the Apostle Paul showed in refusing to circumcise Titus, while in the case of Timothy, where no principle was involved, he allowed the rite to be performed, Bro. Broadus said: A Baptist preacher may invite a Pedobaptist to preach for him, so long as it is understood that he does not thereby indorse the latters ordination; i.e., when no principle is involved. I quote from my notes. In reply to the question of a student, the professor said substantially: If I were to invite a Pedobaptist to preach in my pulpit, and should afterward learn that he construed the invitation into a recognition of his claim to be a properly ordained minister of a New Testament church, I should not only not repeat the invitation, but I would take pains to tell him why I did not."
"Now Bro. Broadus should know that all do construe his invitation into a recognition of their claim to be scriptural ministers."
"Bro. Stuart Robinson says: The idea of inviting one to preach in the character of a layman seems to me a paradox."
"Bro. Hodge, of Princeton, says: When one minister asks another to exchange pulpits with him, such invitation is in fact, and is universally regarded as an acknowledgment of the scriptural ordination of the man receiving the invitation. No man who believes himself to be a minister can rightfully, expressly, or by implication, deny the validity of his [own] ordination; and, therefore, if invited to lecture or speak in the character of a layman, he must decline."
"The editor of the Texas Christian Advocate, being asked, said: When one gentleman invites another to his house, receives him into his parlor, and seats him at his table, he recognizes him on terms of perfect social equality. So, when one Christian minister invites another to occupy his pulpit, all who witness the courtesy thus extended, regard it as a proclamation of perfect ministerial equality. Only Christian ministers are invited into the pulpit. If, however, the one who gives the invitation is a Jesuit, a hypocrite, who wishes to make a show of liberality he does not feel, and believes the brother he thus pretends to honor as a minister is only an unbaptized religious teacher, without church membership or ecclesiastical authority of any sort, he should be treated as all hypocrites and pretenders deserve to be treated."
"These testimonies must settle the question with every honest man. Pedobaptists and the world universally do, and have a right to regard all such affiliations as a proclamation that we, the minister, invited to exchange, or to a seat, or to preach in our pulpits, as a scripturally baptized ordained minister of a scriptural church."
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