Landmark Missionary Baptist

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Phillip, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip
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    Okay, so call me uninformed, but I would like to know the major doctrinal beliefs of a "Landmark Missionary Baptist".

    Let me give you the history. My grandparents were involved in starting a Missionary Baptist Church in the early 1900's. It was a very small country church and was always called "Missionary Baptist" (complete with small graveyard), but it seemed as if its beliefs swung somewhat depending on what preacher they could get.

    They even went through a militant period where my grandmother was "churched" for visiting the Southern Baptist Church in town about three times. [​IMG] She was actually voted out by the entire church including her daughter and husband. Of course, I understand this is obviously probably not very typical, but an amusing story from the "40s or early 50s" anyway.

    I visited the church building today for the first time in about 40 years.

    Its new sign has the name of my grandparent's as the name of the church then "Landmark Missionary Baptist Church".

    I never did understand what their beliefs were and I doubt they are mainstream of Landmark or Missionary Baptist, but what are the actual doctrinal beliefs? Maybe if you can compare them to something I am familiar with such as SBC it would help since I am simply not that well versed in other Baptist churches since I did grow up in SB churches.

    How about eternal security among other doctrines?
    :confused: THANKS to those who can help fill me in.
     
  2. Logos1560

    Logos1560
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    The view called "Landmarkism" arose among Southern Baptists in the 1800's. It was popularized by J. R. Graves (1820-1893). He
    wrote a book entitled "OLD LANDMARKISM WHAT IS IT? Some Southern Baptist churches left the SBC and formed the Baptist General Assembly, later
    named the American Baptist Association, and presently the Baptist Missionary Association of America. Some Landmark Baptists may also be independent of this association.

    Some of the key views held by Landmark Baptists
    include:

    an emphasis on perpetuity or succession of Baptists churches through the ages. Church authority for any new church including ordination of pastors and observance of baptism must be obtained from a properly established "mother" church.

    the view that church refers to only the local
    church and that usually denies the existence of a universal or invisible church

    acceptance of closed communion in observance of the Lord's Supper

    pulpit affiliation and union with believers other than Landmark Baptists is usually regarded as unscriptural

    "alien immersion" (non-Baptist immersion) is not to be accepted

    sometimes Landmark Baptists are considered
    to hold a "Baptist bride" view
     
  3. rlvaughn

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    I agree with Logos1560's post, with a few comments. (1) The American Baptist Association and Baptist Missionary Association exist as a result of division. The BMA did not succeed the ABA, and the ABA did not go out of existence. (2) It should be realized that Landmarkers and the SBC did not exactly split "Landmark" versus "non-Landmark", but over varying degrees of Landmark interpretation. Almost all SBC churches in the old southwest, where the bulk of the split occurred, were Landmark in ecclesiology at that time. (3) Probably all "Baptist briders" are Landmarkers, but all Landmarkers are not "Baptist briders".
    This coincides with the time of the main SBC/Landmark split, and indicates they were possibly in a minority of an SBC-loyal church. The scenario time and again during this period, was that the minority (whether "SBC" or "Landmark") pulled out and organized a church consistent with their own convictions.
    As you say, this is not typical. It may be evidence of particularly bitter feelings confined to a particular area. I would say it would be common (but maybe not a majority opinion) to exclude a member for joining an SBC church, but not for just attending. Here in Texas that were very bitter feelings in the first few years following the split. In our church, one elder vociferously opposed allowing an SBC preacher to preach his (the elder's) own nephew's memorial service.
    Concerning eternal security and other soteriological and theological questions, Landmarkers fall into a similar belief system as SBC churches. The major disagreement was/is over ecclesiology, though they have drifted apart over the years in some areas.
     
  4. Bro. James Reed

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    The views about church succession, ordination of elders/deacons, alien immersion, and most of the rest of what you have listed are for the most part parallel with what mainstream Primitive Baptists believe. I would say that their beliefs, in general, are probably about half way in between what Primitives believe and what most Missionary or Southern Baptists believe.

    If you want to know more about the Landmarkers, you should contact Bro. Dallas, aka Frogman. He is a LMB.

    (Off topic, Bro. Robert, I just noticed the picture you have on your profile page. Would you mind telling me where it was taken? It looks like a Sacred Harp singing. Plus, I recognize a number of the people there. Thanks)
     
  5. rlvaughn

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    Landmarkers can range up and down a pretty wide scale from "Calvinism" to "Arminianism", but I've never known of any that reject eternal security or preservation of the saints, or that reject total depravity. A few show very little difference from Primitive Baptists, except perhaps in having instrumental music and Bible studies.

    Bro. James, that picture was made in Henderson, Texas; and, yes, quite a few people you would know were there. That was at our East Texas Sacred Harp Convention. Next August we'll celebrate our 150th anniversary of its organization in 1855.
     

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