Tag Archives: theological


William Andrew Dillard

The title is paradoxical. To say that there is a church is to say that it exists, but to say there is a church that does not exist is a contradiction of thoughts. Yet, I have read about such a church, and I am sure you have, too. In newspapers and magazines, it will not be unusual to read of “the Baptist church.” This reflects a thought pattern of the church being universal. Of course, expressions of “the Catholic church,” the Methodist church,” etc. are more nearly correct since Catholic and Protestant churches consider themselves to be universal. Catholic theology points to a universal, visible church while Protestants point to a universal invisible church.
So, to which of these lines of theological thought do Baptist churches generally subscribe? Neither! It is the Bible presentation that the true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ are both visible and local. Each church is totally independent under the headship of Christ Jesus. There is no ecclesiastical (preacher) authority. There is no hierarchy. There is no little church/ big church difference in the eyes of the Lord. All are local assemblies, answerable only to God, with the full weight and responsibility of carrying out the commands of Christ as though they were the only congregation on earth. The only headquarters of the Lord’s churches is in heaven. His churches have equal authority to win disciples, baptize them, teach them, and administer the ordinances according to the Word. A church simply cannot get any more independent than to have the independence God gave to it to represent Him on earth. But, a church can get a lot less independent by subscribing to false doctrines, practices, and acquiescing to the designs and schemes of men. The purpose of such is usually for the sake of “business advantage” and/or to capture congregational power to enhance economic, political, and strained theological activity that God never commanded or intended.
There is no such thing as a biblically recognized, universal church on earth whether visible or invisible! Jesus set in motion a local congregation and empowered it to do likewise in carrying out the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20. I understand “Johnson Street Baptist Church” or a church by some other name that distinguishes it as a local assembly in a specific location or in a specified dedication of service. I do not understand nor will I accept the terminology of “The Baptist Church.” It is a church that simply does not exist.

Leave a comment

Filed under dillard

Parson to Person


By: William Andrew Dillard

Ancient Daniel was given much information relating to end-time events. Some of it was not to be published. In Daniel 12:4 it is written, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

There is no theological argument across the spectrum of “Christianity” but that the present time is the ending of the age, and a new age under the direct rulership of Christ Jesus is about to dawn. So, please give consideration to the prophecy that has become history.
Many shall run to and fro. This in the simplest of terms denotes men transporting themselves from one place to another often. For over 1900 years of the present age, men could not imagine the literal fulfillment of this prophecy as it has come to pass. With the advent of modern, luxury ocean liners; jet aircraft, high speed trains, etc. men are moved in mass internationally in the employment of increased knowledge as it affects lives globally from industrial, financial, political, medical, and technological aspects of day to day living. Truly, the running of men to and fro has practically shrunk the globe to little more than a giant country.
But, are men smarter? A good deal of term discrimination must be employed here. The Bible does not say that men will become smarter, but that knowledge shall increase. The vaunted progress of knowledge is being employed as an ecumenical movement to shrink the world. It is making a platform from which a world dictator whom the Bible describes as antichrist will bring mankind to its ultimate chaos and destruction in Armageddon. That is not so smart. But it is in full keeping with the prince and ruler of this world who is known as Abaddon, the destroyer.

True “smarts” are the knowledge and fear of the Lord from Whom all good things originate. By Divine inspiration, sages of old have recorded for all to know, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” Psalm 111:10; “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…” Proverbs 1:7; “The fear of the Lord prolongeth days….” Proverbs 10:27; “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life….” Prov. 14:27.

Yes, many do run to and fro, and certainly knowledge has greatly increased, but men are far from smarter in increasing numbers. A pertinent question for men to seriously consider is: “Are you following the world’s broad path of increased knowledge or are you walking the narrow path of life in evidence that you are smarter?

1 Comment

Filed under Commentary

239 – Aug. 27 – This Day in Baptist History Past


A Citadel of Christianity


1807 – Elder Ashbel Hosmer led the Baptists around the Hamilton, N.Y area to form the Hamilton Missionary Society. This was prior to the Congregationalists sending the Judson’s and Luther Rice to Burma. Elder Hosmer was pastor of the Baptist church in Hamilton and was succeeded by Rev. Daniel Hascall who, as a ministry of the church, founded the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution. From this effort 1200 ministers of the Gospel went out across America and in heathen lands. It became known as the “West Point” of Christian service. 19 years after its founding, a few non-ministerial students were allowed entrance and the Institution began to change and in 1846 its name changed and was charted as Hamilton University. However, to shield the Theological Department from the state, they kept it as a separate corporation. Finally the 2nd law of thermodynamics took over and secularization in the end carried the day and what began as a great Citadel of the Christian faith is now simply Colgate University, a monument to infidelity.  [J.N.M. The Missionary Jubilee (New York: Sheldon and Company, 1871), p. 338. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 468-470.]                   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon



1 Comment

Filed under Church History

187 – July, 06 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Se-Baptism does not satisfy German believers


On April 22, 1834, at Altona, across from Hamburg, Germany, Dr. Barnas Sears baptized, in the Elbe, Johann Gerhard Oncken and six others. Oncken, through the influence of Calvin Tibbs, a sea captain, had been led to adopt Baptist principles. Dr. Sears was destined to become distinguished among Baptists in America as an educator and author, but he is best known for this single event that took place thousands of miles away. Sears was born in Sandisfield, Massachusetts on Nov. 19, 1802, and as a youth was trained in the best schools and entered Brown University where he graduated with the highest honors of his class in 1825. He finished his theological training at Newton Theological Institution and was called to pastor the First Baptist Church of Hartford, Connecticut. After two years he became a professor at Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution until 1833 when he resigned so he could travel to Germany to further his training. Providentially God had been moving on the heart of J.G. Oncken concerning the necessity of believer’s immersion but there was no one to perform the ordinance. He had written to Baptists in England and one had suggested “Se-Baptism” (i.e. self-baptism), but Oncken could not accept this as being the will of God. How wonderful that God sent Dr. Sears at this time to meet the need. Upon his return Dr. Sears became President of Newton Theological Seminary. In 1848 he was elected secretary and executive agent of the Massachusetts Board of Education. He later was chosen as the Trustee of the Peabody Trust for the cause of the education in the South after the Civil War. He later moved to Staunton, Virginia and served the Baptist people there until his death on July 6, 1880.


Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 276-77.



1 Comment

Filed under Church History