"Landmarkism" Alive & Well In SBC!

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Rhetorician, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    To all who have an ear to hear:

    There is a new discussion brewing in the SBC.

    "Landmarkism" has really never went away. It is alive and well. Read the hypertexted page below for the latest scoop!

    I am not asking any questions so none of you "will have to tell me any lies!" HA! [​IMG]

    It is just open to discussion any direction the discussion leads.

    For I know it will be of interest to most or all who frequent the BB.

    http://www.ethicsdaily.com/article_detail.cfm?AID=6938

    I look forward to reading your opinions.

    Enjoy!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  2. Phillip

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    I read the entire article and fail to see the connection, except as written by the author.

    Landmarkism has to do with the origin of the church and has little to do with the three rule clarifications published by the IMB division of the SBC.

    You might push the envelope and say that the Baptism issue has some landmarkish qualities since you are supposed to be Baptised in a Baptist church, but just because the professor was once a landmark does not mean that he is teaching it just because he did not oppose the IMB regulations. Many other pastors, who are NOT landmarkers, including my pastor, see nothing wrong with the IMB clarifications.

    I tend to lean toward Wade Burleson's view, but that is simply my opinion, just like the other view is my pastor's opinion. Neither opinion is going to throw our theology into a tailspin (in my view)--it might cause some in-fighting, but isn't the SBC a Society for fighting over Baptist doctrine anyway? (I say that tongue-in-cheek--I'm SBC, so don't kill me.)
     
  3. rlvaughn

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    I think it is probably a fair conclusion that Dr. York is a Landmark Baptist. But as far as that connection with the IMB policy, I have some suspicions.

    One of the first things that struck me is that the policy does not "sound" Landmark -- IOW, it doesn't sound like the way a Landmark Baptist would argue for baptism by scriptural authority of the New Testament church. From that I am thinking the policy wording does not rise directly from Landmarkism (though Landmarkers would agree), OR it is deliberately stated so as not to sound as "Landmark". It seems to be more soteriological than eccelesiological.

    Another thing that almost immediately struck me is that those opposing the policy were using an ad hominem argument known as "poisoning the well" -- which in this case would be to present the policy as "Landmarkish" and therefore "everybody would know" the policy is false and any claims made in favor of it will be seen as false based on the "poisoned well". The old "ghost of Landmarks past" frightens many a Southern Baptist.
     
  4. PastorSBC1303

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    I personally think we should avoid placing labels on Dr. York when the article does not state this fact.

    I know Dr. York, have sat in class with him and had conversations with him. He never one time came off as a Landmarker.
     
  5. gb93433

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    I wonder what he would do with someone who was baptized by a Baptist pastor in a church building that was not Baptist.
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    Dr. York seems to be seeking to preserve the integrity of Biblical baptism, not to advance a Landmark agenda. Scriptural "baptistic" baptism is already under attack, not from outside, but within. In my area of Western Kentucky, eight churches have already parted with one association over the issue of "alien baptist." It goes further than just accepting non-Baptist baptism. It extends to accepting sprinkling. This threatens to undermine more than just the dissenting churches. It has the potential to corrupt every Baptist church in the SBC. It's no longer sufficient just accept a transfer of membership from another Baptist church of like faith and order. We who wish to preserve scriptural baptism by a scriptural church must now be prepared to thorougly question a prospective member.
    I have friends whom I respect and admire who think this whole thing over baptism is divisive and we shouldn't be arguing over what they deem is a "non-essential" that might weaken our mission and evangelism efforts. The problem is, my good friends think it is divisive to defend it, when we are not the ones who are leaving the doors of our churches unguarded by throwing out what the founders of the SBC regarded as correct ecclesiology.
    At the local and associational level it is already dividing. The convention itself cannot avoid dealing with this question at some point. The question for me is not is it worth fighting over. It is, do we have the stomach for it?

    Tom B
     
  7. Jimmy C

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    I followed some of Dr Yorks conversations in one of the blogs - I think it was sbcoutpost.com, in it he says that he was raised in a landmark church, and that he has been influenced by that church, but does not consider himself a landmarker any longer. I will say, that Dr York has conducted himself in a very fine fashion, I would imagine that he would be a great professor. I dont know if he is winning the debate that he is in, but it probably depends on your predisposition.

    I tend to think myself that there is a creeping landmarkism that has invaded the IMB to some extent - hence the baptism policy, I tend to agree with Dr Burleson on this issue.
     
  8. rlvaughn

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    PastorSBC1303, I did not base my conclusion on Bob Allen's article, though I failed to make that clear. But I evidently did base it on dated material, according to what Jimmy C. writes:
    I am perfectly willing to accept that he is not a Landmark Baptist based on his own testimony.

    One problem is that non-landmarkers and even Landmarkers themselves cannot agree on a proper definition. Both anti-landmarkers and radical Landmarkers often define a Landmark Baptist in the most radical terms. If there were not many expressions of Landmarks Baptists, defining them would not be a problem. But there are the original historical Landmark Baptists, Southern Baptist Landmark Baptists, American Baptist Association, BMA of America, independent Landmark Baptists, and so on, all with varying positions on the church.

    In my opinion, a definition of "Landmark Baptist" must consider and be consistent with its historical rise and progress, as well as account for all the various manifestations. I think the following traits are the "lowest common denominator" for Landmark Baptists: (1) believers successionism/church perpetuity; Jesus organized His church, promised its continued existence -- that church has always existed and still exists today; (2) believers the church is a local autonomous body; (3) opposes alien baptism; baptism is the immersion of a believer in water by the authority of a local new testament church; (4) believes in restricted communion; and (5) opposes "pulpit affiliation".
     
  9. PastorSBC1303

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    Would you share what you did base your conclusion on?
     
  10. imported_J.R. Graves

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    Bro. Vaughn,

    I think the trustees avoided typical Landmark language in these new IMB guidelines for two reasons. Remember it took the trustees two years to come up with these guidelines.

    1. They wanted to avoid being accused of being Landmark or influenced by Landmarkism. Of course in this they were mistaken.

    2. They wanted to focus on soteriological issues rather than eccelesiological. They thought that by focusing on salvation differences of other denominations rather than the baptismal differences more people would be accepting of the guidelines. In this they were mistaken as well.
     
  11. imported_J.R. Graves

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    Let me add that by saying they were "mistaken" I mean people are still accusing the IMB trustees of being Landmark and the new guidelines are not being accepting by some Southern Baptists.
     
  12. rlvaughn

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    PastorSBC, I don't mind sharing. The main foundation for my conclusion was Dr. York's connection with the Ashland Avenue Baptist Church and Lexington Baptist College, which has been well-known as Landmark Baptist. Coupled with this was his own recent statements on baptism, which gave me no cause to think anything had changed. An article can be found here -- Why Historic Baptists require Baptist Baptism -- where Dr. York takes what I would call a tradtional Landmark understanding of baptism. But I am willing to agree that someone could hold that and not be a "Landmark Baptist". Everyone please realize that the writing is 14 years old, so it may not reflect his current position. Also please note that I meant nothing derogatory in the term "Landmark Baptist" (I consider myself Landmark in ecclesiology), although it appears to be used pejoratively in much of the ongoing IMB discussion.

    Further reading since your question was brought up in this thread also makes me wonder whether Ashland Avenue still considers itself "Landmark Baptist". One blogger (don't know how much he knows) wrote that AABC is "not today" identified with the Landmark movement. Perhaps he means not at all, or he may only mean "independently" since the church has joined the SBC.

    Also, I have since found some statements by Hershael York on Steve McCoy's blog -- Hershael York Likes the IMB Baptism Policy -- in which he wrote, "If you look at Burleson's five points of Landmarkism, I affirm the first three." The five he refers to are evidently these tenets mentioned in one of Wade's blogs*:

    In McCoy's blog, Dr. York clearly does not use the term "Landmark" as a self-description. As I wrote in the earlier post, if he says he is not a Landmark Baptist, that is good enough for me.

    J.R., I think one thing you have in the IMB policy is a point -- eternal security -- where Landmarkers and some non-Landmarkers come to agreement on the issue of authority in baptism. You are correct that those formulating the policy were mistaken if they thought they would not be accused of being "Landmark".

    *If you read the comments, you will see that I differ with Wade in that I think the last two points caricature Landmarkism in its most extreme form, rather than noting what all Landmarkers hold in common.

    [ February 10, 2006, 01:41 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  13. PastorSBC1303

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    rl, thanks for sharing. I went to McCoy blog that you posted a link to, and you are right Dr. York does say he affirms the first three.

    He also makes the following quote that I think is important:

     

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