By Larry Ray Hafley
In her column, November 11, 1996, Ann Landers attempted to tell you “when your religion was founded and by whom.” She was right about some religious orders and wrong about others. She doubtless angered some Baptists and Pentecostals, for she, by and large, told the truth about their origins.
She said the “Baptist” church was “launched” in 1607. She is correct, but Missionary and Primitive Baptists say their churches began in the first century A.D. So, Ann irked those Baptists who believe that Jesus founded their churches. But that she is correct in her assertion is sup-ported by the fact that there is no specific reference to a “Baptist Church,” or to “Baptist Churches,” in any literature, either sacred or secular, written before 1600 A.D. Therefore, Baptist churches are not the churches we read about in the New Testament (Rom. 16:16).
Ann hit the Baptists where it hurts when she said that Baptists “owe the tenets of (their) religion to John Smyth.” Well, I am not sure that Smyth is the author of the “tenets” (doctrines) of Baptist churches, but one thing is certain, Baptists do not “owe the tenets of (their) religion to” Jesus Christ (Mark 16:16; Luke 8:13; Gal. 5:4)!
Ann probably peeved the Pentecostals, too. She said their “religion was started in the United States in 1901.” The United Pentecostal Church did not begin until 1948, according to the “official” history of that denomination (Clanton, United We Stand). Hence, anyone over 49 years of age is older than the United Pentecostal Church! Two main doctrines of the Pentecostal religion, did not be-come “tenets of faith” until 1914 (Foreword, United Pentecostal Church Manual). Obviously, the United Pentecostal Church is not the New Testament church.
Ann slandered the Lord’s church when she said, “If you are Roman Catholic, Jesus Christ began your religion in the year 33.” The Catholic Church resembles the church Jesus built like a camel resembles a common kitty-cat.
(1) In the Bible, all the saved were saints (1 Cor. 1:2). This is not true of Catholicism. (2) In the New Testament, all saved ones were priests (1 Pet. 2:5-9). This isnot true of the Roman Catholic Church. (3) Peter was a married man; he was not superior to the other apostles (Matt. 8:14; Luke 22:24-26; 1 Cor. 9:5; 15:11; 2 Cor. 11:5; Gal. 2:6-14). This could not have been true if Peter was pope of the Catholic Church. (4) Jesus said, “Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven” (Matt. 23:9). Disciples of Christ certainly were not Roman Catholics! (5) “Bishops” in the church “Jesus Christ began” were to be married men (1 Tim. 3:1, 2; Tit. 1:6, 7). So, Jesus did not establish the Catholic Church.
Finally, Ann said that the “Salvation Army” is “a religious group, not just an organization that collects money in kettles on Christmas.” She is right. Therefore, dear brother in Christ, if you would not contribute to a Baptist Church or to a Catholic coffer, what authorizes you to support the “Salvation Army”? Christians should not make donations to the Salvation Army anymore than they would to any other human denomination (cf. 2 John 9-11).
Guardian of Truth XLI: 2 p. 5
January 16, 1997