William Andrew Dillard
In the discipline of math, much is made of binary expressions. Moreover, since God is the author of all truth, including that of math, we may glean a lot of understanding of spiritual truth from it as well. Consider the binary diagram above. It is not meant to produce a headache, but to give you rejoicing as you understand it.
Out of the universe of all men only a fraction of them have any relationship with God. Circle 1. represents all men who are saved. Circle 2. represents all men who are baptized. Circle 3. represents active church members. Now notice how the lines overlap or bind. Some saved men are active church members, but have never been baptized, 1 & 3. Some baptized men are active church members but have never been saved, 2 & 3. Some are saved and baptized, but not active church members, 1 & 2.
While God wants all men to trust Him and thereby be saved, He also wants saved people to follow Him in scriptural baptism. But it does not stop there. He wants all saved, scripturally baptized people to be active and learning in the fellowship of His New Testament church.
Therefore of all the possible positions that men may find themselves in spiritually, there is only one position that is totally compliant, and submissive to the will of God. That is the area where all three circles intersect noted as 1, 2, and 3. Where do you fit?
Tag Archives: discipline
William Andrew Dillard
Posted: 08 Sep 2015 05:39 PM PDT
First Boston Meeting House
The Importance of Church Membership
Church membership at one time was much more important among fundamental Baptists than it seems to be in our day. As a case in point, we shall look at the record of the First Baptist Church of Boston. The church had been born in conflict, and many of the early members had been imprisoned for daring to establish such a witness in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. But the years passed, and we read of the second law of thermodynamics as it entered the spiritual realm. “the 9th mo 1684 Mr. Dingley & his daughter Recevd as members to comunion by letter of Recomendation. .. . . At A Church meeting September ye 13th 1685. It was agreed upon the Brother Drinker upon consideration of his neglecting to officiate in his place for A long time & still prsisting in soe doeing should be discharged from ye work & office of A Decon and be Admonished to his duty as a member. . . His admonition availed, for he was restored to his place as a member upon acknowledgment of his desertion and promise of Reforming. Hid did not long walk in fellowship with the church, but after two other admonitions, He was rejected for refusing to heare the Church according to the 18 Chap: Mathew: this was sollemly don 5th January 1695.” Church correction, for the most part, is tragically a thing of the past. Church membership in our day is but a badge of approval, and everyone is expected to join a church somewhere. Now the church is filled with unregenerate membership, and the church is no longer pure.
Biblical church discipline
Jeremy Courtnay did not attend the meeting on the next “Day of Prayer” August 07, 1679, that he had been asked to attend by Brothers Bodenham and Snead who were appointed to contact him and inform him that he was expected to attend. And the congregation finding no evidence of true repentance, “did agree together to cast him out of ye Church: having sent two Brethren ye Lord’s day before to him, to summon him to attend ye Congregation this day for prayer; but he came not…Yet, Notwithstanding, ye Congregation proceeded to theire duty. And therefore, one of ye Ruleing Elders, Namely, Br. Terrill, by consent of ye whole Congregation then assembled, did pronounce ye sentence…This evening ended, with lamentation and sore trouble that wee were forced, for ye preservation of ye Glory of God and ye Churches purity, thus proceed to our duty, as ye last means to endeavour his recovery…For what Christ will Judge hereafter, his people should Judge here, and have noe fellowship with such workes of darkness.” This was not a hasty decision by the church. Prior to that, on Sept. 8, 1677, six brethren visited Brother Courtnay to reprove and admonish him of “his sinne of drunkenness that hee was fallen into.” He declared his repentance and asked for prayer. On Dec. 12 he was dealt with for drunkennesse. On March 7, 1678, the pastor admonished Jeremy Courtnay for the second time in the presence of the church. On March 19 his wife asked the brethren to keep a solemn day of fasting and prayer at their home for him which they did on the 21st day of the month. Can Jeremy Courtnay say before God, “No man cared for my soul?”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 323-25.
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“Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul,” Proverbs 29:17.
Children are a gift from God, but their behavior, at times, imitates Satan. That is why they need teaching, training and corrective discipline. Most often, parents are the ones whom children look to for guidance in these areas. But, our societal pendulum has swung toward friendship with our children rather than parenting. Parenting requires one to be a responsible adult, friendship does not.
It is God who gives parents the job of parenting their children. If they neglect this responsibility to teach, train and discipline, they and their children will suffer greatly. Discipline can graciously prevent false ideas that lead a child to self-destruction.
While there is no guarantee that children will always listen and follow their parent’s biblical training (training and discipline are interchangeable concepts), it does provide a good foundation for life. That foundation can be layered on by a sound biblical church and thoughtfully and thoroughly studied Sunday School lessons.
Parents do not want their children to suffer unnecessarily, but suffering is necessary on occasion to change the direction of certain harmful behaviors. As adults, they will be thankful for the moment of pain which possibly saved them from a lifetime of trouble.
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame (Prov. 29:15).
Baptists and church discipline
1776 – The Grassy Creek Baptist Church in Granville County, N.C. brought Aaron P before the church to give reason for not communing. He was corrected and later restored. However, the church was even handed in their discipline. “In 1770 Elder James Reed, the pastor was excluded for unchristian conduct. Elders Jeremiah Walker and John Williams, were called on as helps or as a council, to aid the brethren in this very serious difficulty.” Pastor Reed had been baptized by Shubael Stearns in 1756 and was the first pastor of Grassy Creek. It was not for morals or doctrine that he was dismissed, and after two years he was restored and enjoyed a long and fruitful ministry of almost forty years as their pastor. In 1798 at 72 he was called to his heavenly home. His last words were: “Do you see the angels waiting to convey my soul to glory?” On March 5, 1773, at a church conference, the question was asked and answered: Should a private transgression be made public?” The answer was “No” based on Matt. 18:15 concerning settling differences privately before they are brought before the church. These people were serious about church discipline. On Sept. 24, 1775, the church records show that Henry Howard and Lemuel Wilson were appointed to admonish sister J___C____ for living an immoral life, such as dancing.” They based it on the word “revellings” in Ga. 5:21 and I Pet. 4:3. Revellings referred to,“dancings in merry making, a jovial festivity with music and dancing.” They reported back on Nov. 24 that they had admonished her, she was present, but she found no repentance, she was then excommunicated. [Robert I Devin, A History of Grassy Creek Baptist Church (Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards, Broughton and Co., 1880), p. 78. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 626-28.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
A long and arduous ministry of over forty years
December 05, 1792 – Joseph Smedley was born in Westmoreland County, England. This is where he professed Christ and became a member of a Baptist church. After emigrating to the U.S., he applied to the Fifth Baptist Church of Philadelphia for membership, and a committee was appointed to investigate the matter and report to the church. Upon investigation, they discovered that he had been excluded by a church in England, and they would need time to determine the facts. On Aug. 23, 1834, in the absence of a letter, they decided to receive him into the church based on his confession of his Christian experience and on his approval of the church’s confession of faith and discipline. It shows the importance Baptist churches placed on church membership. The following month Smedley requested a letter of dismission in order to go west, where under the advisory counsel of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions and the employment of the U.S. Government, he became a teacher and missionary among the Indians. During this time his wife Mary Radcliff died in July of 1836 and left him in the care of seven children. In spite of this loss, he continued his ministry among the Choctaws, Creeks and Cherokees in an area of 80 miles west of Ft. Smith along the Arkansas and Canadian rivers. Smedley organized the first black Baptist church in Ft. Smith in 1856. He continued his missionary work, but the Civil War greatly curtailed his ministry. After the outbreak of hostilities, he was able to make only occasional visits to his churches. After a long and arduous ministry of over forty years, Smedley died on Aug. 27, 1877.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 507-08.