William Andrew Dillard
WORDS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE!
The ancient patriarch, Job, was both a wise and righteous man. The book that bears his name is astounding from a variety of viewpoints. In the height of his misery, and with the added torment of his not so wise friends, he lamented a longing to have an audience with his Creator that he might lay out his case before Him. To his astonishment, he was accorded such a unique hearing. The initial question put to him by the Creator was: “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?” Job 38:2. Words without knowledge. Words without knowledge! Think what this means!
The importance of specific understanding of words is essential in the correct conveyance of ideas. However, the weakness of words in their specific language, and the propensity of many people to use them as labels to which a variety of ideas may be attached may defeat their purpose in the minds of some even though it does not diminish the power of their original purpose. For all of his understanding, Job had this problem. A host of folks who have a lesser measure of wisdom than Job still have that problem.
With split infinitives, dangling modifiers, misplaced adjectives intermingled with colloquialisms and idioms, making English a barrister’s paradise, how much more perilous could it be for precise ideas to be exchanged? Please patiently consider this with me.
A typical example is the term, “Christian.” Who or what is a Christian? To a religious world largely influenced by Protestantism and it’s universal, invisible church doctrine, it is anyone who confesses Jesus as the Son of God. Protestantism’s mother, the Roman church allows that anyone who does not have Catholic baptism is a heretic, hence, not Christian. In both of these bodies of religion they understand that the basic idea of “Christian” is tied to the church: But Catholicism believes itself to be the universal, visible church, and Protestantism believes in a universal invisible church. True Baptists are not, nor have they ever been a part of either.
Still, through the power of Protestant influence, hyper-evangelism, and their propensity to use words as labels, darkening counsel without the knowledge of them, many Baptist churches have unwittingly fallen into great weakness, attributing to all who profess initial faith in God as a “Christian,” when they have done nothing more, and often not as much, than Old Testament folks did.
Please consider that the term “Christian” designates one who is anointed with the Spirit that anointed Jesus at His baptism and the first church on the day of Pentecost. These have been buried with Christ, and raised again to walk in “newness of life” in the New Covenant body of Jesus, the house of God, the Pillar and ground of the truth: His church. To ascribe that term to those not so doing is to pervert New Testament teachings and inject a weakness into the body of Christ that, in time, will be its undoing. If we will use words, let us by all means know what they mean etymologically, and contextually. Ministers have a heavy responsibility to enlighten counsel, not darken it.
Church by Evolution
Parson to Person
William Andrew Dillard
There are some things that are easy to believe, but difficult to prove. In fact, most things in the spirit world are that way to the carnal mind. It is the intent of this short article to draw attention to the folly of New Testament church existence by evolution. Please think with me for a moment.
Most Baptists readily agree that a New Testament church cannot be divorced from its membership. Therefore, the qualifications of each church member become all important to the spiritual status of the local body to which he belongs. As the members go, so goes the church for better or worse.
It is equally agreed among non-Protestant Baptist churches that the new birth experience and deep water baptism by the authority of the church is essential, constituting the prerequisites to church membership. By these things, and the fulfillment of the other parts of the Great Commission churches are kept separate from the world, from false religion, and in an acceptable state to enjoy the blessings of the Almighty in word, and in deed.
With all this being said, it is recognized that there are a lot of “Speckled Bird” churches in Baptist ranks today. Some are “planted” by men who care little for the fundamentals of the faith once delivered to the saints. Some are socio-religious gatherings that “evolve” into a “church.” This method was used by the Wesley brothers, but their production was not a New Testament church.
Then there are those who pick no bones about their disdain for the Baptist heritage. They refuse to use the Baptist name, and think to create a church by some sort of deception, deception I say because they still want to claim scriptural Baptist status. Humm. does that not sound much like so many who call themselves “non-denominational” or “Usta-Wazer Baptists? That former title is an oxymoron simply because non-denomination is a denomination with reference to type or kind.
So, the questions remains. Might a group of people, two or three or more, achieve a non-profit charter to claim tax exemption engage in religious activity, and thereby grow into a bona fide New Testament church regardless of their prerequisites? More precisely stated, may a group of religious minded people evolve into a New Testament church?
When the Word is followed, only those who are endowed with the new birth, and scriptural, deep water baptism administered by a bona fide church of the Lord, may constitute a church that is recognized and blessed of heaven. Such is the perpetuation of the baptism of John (heaven-sent baptism). There may be many ceremonial washings and dips, but there is only one baptism of John. So, a church by evolution? That is biblically unknown, and in the end worthless.
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Tagged as baptist, protestant, qualifications, religious, Spirit, spiritual