By the late Dr. Art Wilson
The Baptist Name Abandoned SOME CHURCHES ABANDON BAPTIST NAME SOME OTHERS SHOULD
Dr. Art Wilson Five Times Past President Of Baptist Bible Fellowship International What a romance! He met her when she was a pretty, vivacious 19-year old. The beam in her eyes, the upstanding moral decency and her effervescent personality literally stole his attention away from all other girls. Before her 21st birthday, he had persuaded her that nothing or anyone else on earth could make his life as happy and as fulfilling as could she. Embracing her at the wedding he whispered, “I love you truly, truly dear.” Then speaking out before God and witnesses he said, “I will cleave only unto thee as long as we both shall live.” What a romance! They each had considered God’s way was to “be fruitful” and expressed their desires mutually to raise a family. Not only was she to him all that a man would desire in a mate– a good cook and housekeeper– but an abiding best friend and a lover.
In unison both their desires were met and they were drawn even closer together by the children born to their happy and enjoyable union. After one year a baby boy brought ecstasy into their home. They drew even closer in all ways. After 18 years of super joy and satisfaction, he became somewhat cold toward her. It was hard for her to understand what was changing him. He had met a man at his job who also had a large family but had begun to grimace under the financial and social responsibilities. That man caused him to think likewise. So, without notifying either wife, they left and outright abandoned their own “darling” wife and “precious children” and moved without even a goodbye note, to another state. Not only did “darling wife” and “mother” of his seven children get abandoned but it was learned years later that he even spelled his name differently. I know this story quite well. His “darling” was my mother and that man led astray was my father. They never saw each other again. As it was way back then, so it is and far worse today.
Some men can’t take it when the burden of a family becomes their’s. They are easily led astray and can drop their family and go under another name because “true husband,” “faithful father,” and “dependable provider,” are too antiquated for them. Neither do they reflect the more progressive spirit of today’s society. Now think of the thrilling and moving SPIRITUAL romances some of our fine men in the ministry have had in their past. Courted by the Holy Spirit in a Baptist church, saved by Christ the Saviour in a Baptist Church, baptized in the name of the Father and the name of the Son and in the name of the Holy Ghost in a Baptist church; taught and trained in a Baptist Church and/or Baptist school; called of God to preach because of a Baptist church or Baptist youth camp; and for most of them– found their wife in a Baptist church or school; then were ordained to the Baptist ministry (to the upholding of the historical and Biblical Baptist distinctives); and then ultimately became pastor of a Baptist church, persuading that body of Baptists that they believed what the Baptists have always believed.
Such ones were asked (or it was assumed) that they were in harmony with “the trail of blood,” and like my father, they couldn’t say enough praise for their “sweetheart of faith and obedience to the faith,” but now– again like my father– they and their misled people want to drop and abandon the name Baptist.(Gal.5:7 & 3:1).As Paul wrote to the Galatians, I must state and ask this question: “Ye did run well (took a strong, unashamed stand for all Baptist doctrines), who hath bewitched you that you are so soon removed?”
The Scriptures also declare that in these last days mankind will not endure (stay with) sound doctrine but will want to go with the ear-ticklers. (2 Tim.4: 3). Further, because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (Matt.24 12). Unlike the terms “transgression, wickedness, lewdness and abomination,” all of which speak of the vilest, the term “iniquity” refers to the counterfeit. This then is saying that because so much counterfeiting is going on, millions are being deceived because they can’t tell the difference. My mother used to warn us thusly: “all that glitters is not gold.”
The amount of your education, the size of your church or the importance of your position and/or community popularity have not made you immune from Satan’s counterfeit, high-sounding seductions before which others– even stronger than you– have fallen. Did not the “MAN OF GOD” who was specifically told by God to do his job but not to go to anyone’s place to eat or drink, prove that? He did his job. He was true to his ordained calling. He then obeyed God as he refused the king’s invitation to eat and drink in the palace. He was again true to his ordained calling. He obeyed also by going home on the prescribed road. All the way thus far he is a dedicated fundamentalist role model for younger servants of God who may well have had their eyes on him and secretly desired to be like him. But now comes the bad news. Another “preacher” who had already left his roots of truth, came to the man of God, supposedly to console him (and of course, “help” him), and invited him to come back to his house to eat and drink. Again,
God’s good servant was true to his ordained calling. He told the other “preacher” that God had told him he could not go to anyone’s place to eat or drink. (“Let God be true and every man a liar.” Rom. 3:4). So the other “clergyman” said: “I am a preacher too, just like yourself, and God told me to invite you into my home for fellowship, eating and drinking.” On that basis, the man of God decided to leave God’s basics– (trust and obey) and departed in fellowship with the other “nice preacher.” The Bible says that the “nice preacher” lied to him. Like all of us, he was not immune from Satan’s trick– “spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph.6:12). That was the end of his ministry.
When he left the “nice preachers” house, he was killed by a lion. Take heed, preacher, the Devil is as an angel of light first and then as a roaring lion secondly, and walks about seeking whom he may devour. (I Pet.5:8). Back during the time of World War II, a Methodist preacher knocked at my door. He was obviously very upset. He said it was a heavy burden on his heart. He told me that he could not bear it another day– “God has made me come to you.” He was very angry because he had heard me preach “Eternal Security” on the radio. He called it “a damnable doctrine.” In two hours he had received Christ, and yes, “Eternal Security.” He was so overwhelmed with God’s amazing grace, he immediately asked if I would come to his church and present some sound doctrine. I told him yes, but I said, “they will fire you.” He thought his friendship with the District Superintendent would prevent that.
The newspaper head line read: “Baptist pastor conducts Methodist revival on doctrine.” On the 7th day, that “loveable and friendly” district superintendent had a secret meeting with the church board at 6 p.m. He led them in firing their preacher and stayed for the service so that he could inform the congregation of the action and also announce that to keep down any further problems, the doors would be padlocked. He told a packed, standing-room only crowd, “We are sorry to have to do this, but your speaker has not been declaring `Methodist Doctrine.'” I was sitting on the front seat, waiting for time to preach, but when he said that I had not preached Methodist Doctrine, I Jumped to my feet and said, “Just a minute, Sir, let’s check that out.” I then turned to the audience and said, “The first night I preached on `God, the Creator’; the second night on `The Passover Lamb’; the third night on `The Virgin Birth’; the fourth night on ‘The Blood Atonement’ the fifth night on `Jesus, our Substitute on the cross’ last night, it was on
`The Bodily Resurrection of Christ’ and tonight I’m preaching on `The Literal Bodily Return of Christ.'” Then I said, “I didn’t know that you Methodists didn’t believe these things and are all religious infidels, as this man is saying.” The next day, the newspaper headline read: “Methodist preacher is fired for having Baptist preacher.” Two days later it read: “Baptist pastor to baptize fired Methodist preacher and wife.” He became a strong Baptist preacher for 45 years. He is in Heaven now. He was honest and honourable– he sent his Methodist ordination certificate back to them with the statement: “Since I no longer believe as you do, I count it my moral and spiritual duty to return this ordination certificate.” Every pastor who has led or will lead his church to drop or abandon the name “Baptist” should be as honest and honourable as that preacher and send your ordination certificate back to the Baptist church that believed you were telling the truth when you were ordained. As in marriage, the vows are unto God first and then to your mate.
Are preachers becoming as fickle and uncaring about their ordination vows as people are about their marriage vows? Is it that easy also to divorce the truth (your spiritual darling) you once deeply cherished? One preacher is quoted as saying: “We dropped the Baptist name because we found it to be offensive and therefore a hindrance to our desired progress.” Another said: “That is not the road people want to travel nowadays.” Still a third one said: “Like any business, you must go where the traffic is, and it’s not on the Baptist boulevard any more.” Be honest with God, yourself and your people! Answer these questions.
Did you drop the Baptist name (or plan to) because (1) Creation is not true?
(2) The Old Testament prophets of God were fiction writers?
(3) Because the virgin birth was impossible?
(4) Because the One called Jesus, the Christ, was a good man but not God incarnate in flesh?
(5) Because the blood from His body on the cross was not efficacious or the only element to atone for man’s sin?
(6) Because the touted MYTH of the bodily resurrection from the grave is supported even today by numerous religious “intelligencia?”
(7) Because salvation is no longer by grace through faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ alone, plus or minus nothing?
(8) Because His ascension back to the Father’s right hand is a “fairy tale?”
(9) Because He presently is the only mediator (contact or connection) between God and man?
(10) Because Christ’s return in the body is unrealistic, or certainly not soon?
(11) Because baptism is no longer the “like figure” (picture) of the death, burial and resurrection of the Son of God, nor does it matter what mode, what “church”, or by what authority it is administered?
(12) Because the Lord’s Supper (Communion) is in no way exclusive but is to be in Promise Keeper’s style (everybody) where Jew, Gentile, Catholic, Moslems, Mormons and 25 other groups were “partaking” –making us all one body? Every sound-doctrine Baptist church should immediately demand public repentance from their pastor, or fire him, for breach of covenant if he partook of “communion” there or anywhere else in like manner. He is a traitor to his ordination vows!
(13) Because the old Biblical teaching such as, “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather reprove them,” (Eph.5:11); “Come out from among them and be SEPARATE,” saith the Lord; “Have no” means “don’t get started.” “Come out” means if you find yourself already in the mixture, be a “man after God’s own heart” and obey–come out! Not tomorrow but today!
(14) Because staying strong as a true Bible-believing Baptist doesn’t represent the aggressive, progressive spirit of today’s society and is destined to become obsolete and you don’t want to be behind all the religions in your city, even though you are associating with the groups that are at work toward the one world anti-Christ church, whose theme is “Tear down the walls” (of doctrine) and (differences). The fact that what a preacher gets involved in when he abandons the Baptist’s biblical beliefs of the centuries of doctrine mentioned herein can only mean– like it or not– he has moved into the camp of the compromisers, either ignorantly or in the company of those “who will not endure sound doctrine.” Because I have some good preacher friends who have been bewitched by this master-counterfeit program, I can do no less than believe that “all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for CORRECTION and for instruction in righteousness….” (2 Tim. 3:16).
Lastly, what will it be like at the Judgment seat of Christ when we stand face to face with Him Who founded the church and gave her the doctrines? It won’t be rewarding when we have to admit that for money, prestige and earthly popularity we abandoned what He first established! Could I possibly be true to God or to you who hear or read these words if I fail to give you Christ’s own instructions– “Come out of her, MY people.” (Rev.18:4). And “MY sheep hear MY voice and they follow ME.” (John 10:27). A Man of God who preach to the End. Praise God”