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Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Squire Robertsson, May 20, 2013.
Came across this in "another" place"
Thanks, this is a very good read.
Since I have some Landmark tendencies, I found the article interesting. I won't try to argue Baptist succession, but I do suggest Baptist perpetuity. That is, that God has always throughout history, had a people who held to Biblical doctrines, ecclesiology and practice. Today, we would look at those folks and say, "gee, they believe just like Baptists."
So, I'm not going to fall out with anybody who doesn't see a chain-link succession.
More important to me is the nature of a New Testament church. I argue that there are only local assemblies. I also argue that the so-called "Universal Church" is a useless entity.
For the life of me, I don't understand why people get bent out of shape which the notion of the Universal Church is challenged.
Thanks for that article. I have a partial photo copy of a booklet, 'Churches of Boone's Creek Baptist Association', with a brief history of the Association written in 1923 by S.J. Conkwright, Clerk of the Association, and, blow me down, I just found the booklet in it's entirety online, which delves into the great turmoil caused by Campbell and 'Raccoon' Smith among the churches right here where I was raised, (I was a member of two of these Churches, Corinth (where I grew up) and Central when I was SB). The history gives a fair picture of the Old School/New School and Campbellite splits in this area.
Now I can read the booklet in it's entirety when I get time (really don't even have time to be making this post right now).
Overall the article is a fairly good read. However, it has some serious inaccuracies. A.C. Dayton, J.M. Pendleton, and J.B. Moody were all Landmarkers and all rejected the kingdom equals the churches theory of J.R. Graves. Therefore, to claim that the Kingdom is inclusive of the churches is a Landmark characteristic is false. It is a tenet of J.R. Graves for sure and many who followed him. A.C. Dayton categorically denied such a view. Pendleton was amill. Moody explicitly denied it. Dayton in his response to John L.Waller said:
We come now to W.’s great argument. The Evangelist is an officer, not of a church, but of the Kingdom of Christ. The churches are one thing, and the Kingdom is another. “Of the Kingdom, the Apostles were the chief officers next the seventy Disciples and now the Evangelists.” Let us admit all this, and what will follow? The Kingdom of Christ, as he established it, was designed to have a set of officers called “Evangelists.” What of it? These Evangelists could preach and baptize. Well what of it? We freely grant all this…….. But someone may say the “unbaptized” is a member and an officer in the “invisible Kingdom”. But the invisible has no organization, no ordinances and no officers. - A.C. Dayton, Pedo-Baptist and Campbellite Immersions, 1858, pp. 107-106,109 – emphasis mine.
J.M. Pendleton most likely provided William Cathcart with the historic definition of Landmarkism which he summarized in this statement:
The argument is that scriptural authority emanates under God, from a gospel church. – William Cathcart, The Baptist Encyclopedia, “Landmarkism” Vol. 2, pp. 731-732, The Electronic Edition of Baptist History, Ver. 1.0
This summary statement was based completely upon Matthew 28:18-20 as under church authority which demanded a precise "order" manifested in this commission, which more ancient Baptists called "regular gospel order" or "regular church order." It was called "gospel" order because it commenced with going with the gospel. It was called "regular" because this was the way all Baptist churches were constituted. Baptized believers were brought into church relationship with Christ according to this "regular" order - evangelization, baptism and then gathered into a teaching/observing assembly.
In regard to the question of "Succession" they were also divided. Graves, Dayton and D.B. Ray used both terms "perpetuity" and "succession." However, W.A. Jarrel was the first Landmark author who rejected the term "succession" and took the position of "perpetuity" or loosely connected groups in history that held Baptist tenets. Those who continued to hold to "Baptist church Succession" in addition to Baptist Perpetuity admitted it could not be proven by secular historical records but believed it as a matter of faith because they believed the scriptures taught it. Their argument was, if he looked like a duck, walked like a duck and quacked like a duck it is a duck. They used the illustration of human reproduction from Adam, as they believed the Great Commission was a principle of reproduction after its own kind with the guarantee of success by divine promise. Hence, they denied they needed to provide link by link historical evidence for any church with Bibical characteristics as the process of reproduction was just as currently manifest as was human reproduction. Indeed, they argued that the same principle of reproduction could be seen in any denomination once that demonination was originated, as every denomination operated by the process of reproduction after its own kind. Thus when Luther originated Lutheran churches they manifested the same principle in their history as any other denomination. So likewise with the church founded by Christ.