View Full Version : Newbie: What does Landmark mean ?
08-29-2004, 08:28 AM
I've read some posts in here that refer to Landmark, and to folks as Landmarkers. Since I am new to all of this, I have to ask: What is this ?
08-29-2004, 09:06 AM
Landmarkism refers to a particular subgroup of baptist theology that believes that the original church was a baptist church (Mat 16:17-19), and that the only true churches are baptist or baptistic. Some of the corollaries to this are:
1. There is no universal church, only local churches.
2. Baptism by a church that is not baptist or baptistic is not valid, and those coming to a baptist church from another background need to be baptised, even if they had a "baptism" in some other church. This is often referred to as "alien" baptism, or "alien" immersion.
3. Communion is closed, that is, it is only to be celebrated by members of a local congregation, and visitors, whatever their faith, are not allowed to partake.
4. There is an apostolic succession of baptist churches, unbroken since the first church in Jerusalem, organized by Christ Himself. New churches must be "mothered" by a church in the chain, or they are not valid.
5. The "bride of Christ" consists only of members of proper baptist churches. Though others will be in heaven, they will not be part of the bride.
Now, before the verbal missiles come my way, not all landmarkers believe all of these things, and there are shades and degrees of belief on all these points. If one of our landmark brethren has a refinement on this list, I will certainly accept their judgment on this matter.
09-04-2004, 12:13 PM
Major B it looks like you have covered this pretty well. I note from your description that many who do not call themselves Landmarkers would fall into this group by belief and practice.
R. Charles Blair
09-07-2004, 10:24 PM
Some of us who consider ourselves "Landmark" simply hold the following:
Jesus built the very first NT church during His earthly ministry; local congregations like that one have existed ever since that time, as He promised - however few, however scattered, however differing among themselves in incidentals.
There is no more need to prove a lineal ancestry than there is to prove our descent from Adam - we have his characteristics. It is interesting, but not essential. Some insist on a "mother church;" some identifying themselves as "Landmark" insist that only self-constituted churches are valid! So many areas differ - style of worship (some are "high church," some "Bapticostal"), views on education, elements of other groups strong in the area where they are, reaction against such other groups, (e.g., the old issue of burial in "holy ground," or whether we may eat inside the same building where we worship, or use of instruments in worship, or . . . . You fill in the blanks!)
But all "Landmark" folks agree that the Bible, as God gave it, is a verbally inspired and final standard, and most will say that the NT, which is comparatively clear, interprets the OT, which is often difficult, and by completing the divine revelation, changes our form of worship from that of Tabernacle-Temple sacrifices to a Lord's day celebration of the gospel. (Although, there are "7th Day Baptists" who also believe in a succession and are pretty well "Landmark" in their views!) Some are Pre-mil, some A-, and B. H. Carroll was during his active ministry one of the strongest Post-millenialists, so some who still read his classic "Interpretation of the English Bible" are heavily influenced by it in that area as well. Some hold sovereignty (election, predestination); some fight strongly against it. Many will not receive one another's baptisms! Yet all fit the general term because they fall somewhere within Major B's statements or my brief summary. Best- Charles Blair - Rom. 8:28
09-08-2004, 07:37 AM
The level of independance of these 'local congregations' is what is often a source of heated debate. It would have been very easy in many places for local congregations to be Catholic* officially and in practice hold to the NT church standards. Many bishops were no different from the noblemen that surrounded them, up to their noses into political intrigue and no interest whatsoever in what was going on in the local parish churches.
It is this notion of fully independant Americanstyle IFB churches hanging out in the medieval countrysite (Bible study clubs and altar calls and all) that gives Landmarkism it's reputation of obnoxious pseudoscience.
* or Eastern-Orthodox or some other State Church.
09-11-2004, 10:47 PM
You do have quite a listing -- mostly negative on "what" a Landmarker is -- but to get a truer picture of what it is all about, you really need to spend some time studying the various doctrines on which their "obnoxious pseudoscience," as some would call it, is based. I am sure that opportunities will be provided, or have already been archived in various strings, on this very website to help you get some of these basics down. You can, of course, then draw your own conclusions, based on the evidence, for a proper Biblical Doctrine. In doing so you may well discover that there is a very sound, logical, intelligent, thoughtful, thought-provoking, and practical Biblical basis for their doctrines. This is what I have discovered.
The importance of it is simply this -- in your foundational belief system you make decisions that impact people and events, both now and in the future. If so many "churches" out there are different -- then they can not all be right!(Though there is of course some wiggle room!) God is not the "author of confusion," but rather of "the faith once delivered to the saints"! Is it Christ's church if you just go out and start one and call it so? Or are there other Biblical basis, beliefs, practices, etc. for what constitutes Christ's church? And if so, how do we come by learning or understanding these other aspects of Christ's churches? What has Christ put in place to ensure the future existence of these things? The Landmarkers have interesting answers for these questions, and many others of course! To go into these various doctrines specifically, in this string, would I believe be inappropriate!
You have an exciting and wonderful learning experience in front of you! God said that those who had a willingness to do (follow, obey) the (a) doctrine, would know whether or not the doctrine were of Him. So maintain a willing and open heart and mind -- and God has promised to give you understanding and peace about it!
For now, your brother, Eagle. smile.gif
09-11-2004, 10:59 PM
Pardon me, Eagle, but can you say that in a more direct manner? I frankly did not follow you.
09-11-2004, 11:49 PM
Take a look at http://members.aol.com/libcfl/trail.htm
I hope you don't take that as history.
09-13-2004, 03:49 PM
If so many "churches" out there are different -- then they can not all be right!(Though there is of course some wiggle room!) God is not the "author of confusion," but rather of "the faith once delivered to the saints"! Is it Christ's church if you just go out and start one and call it so? Or are there other Biblical basis, beliefs, practices, etc. for what constitutes Christ's church? And if so, how do we come by learning or understanding these other aspects of Christ's churches? What has Christ put in place to ensure the future existence of these things?Hence my confusion and original question.
Baptist born, Baptist bred
09-22-2004, 09:22 AM
The term Landmark came from a couple of Old Testament passages in the KJV version one of which said something like, do not remove the landmarks your fathers have established.
This name "Landmarkism" was given to a pamplet written by J.M. Pendleton. The name was furnished by J.R. Graves. You can find it as this link
A.C. Dayton made up the third original member of the Landmark leadership. Through the baptist newspaper called the "Tennessee Baptist" and through books the movement spread. The initial question resulted from a discussion with Graves at Cotton Grove. The central issue remained, Ought Baptist to recognize Pedobaptist Ministers as Gospel Ministers, and should they then invite them to preach in their churches.
The problem with a definition is that Graves and Pendleton didn't even agree. Thus, no real definition of their beliefs exists. Each Landmark church may define its beliefs but Landmarkism can only agree on a few distinct points.
1. focus on the local church
2. baptism by immersion of believers is the only form of valid baptism
3. thus, Pedobaptists are not valid churches and do not have valid ministers
4. we should not share pulpits or commune with pedobaptist
As for the universal church, Pendleton acknowledged it, Graves denied it. As for Baptist succesionism, Graves strongly supported, Pendleton did not. As for closed communion, Graves strongly supported, Pendleton saw nothing wrong with Baptist churches extending communion to other Baptist church members in good standing.
This is my two cents worth. Hope it helps.
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