"Now It Is Different''

Luther Bolenbarker
Houston, Texas

From the Standard Manual for Baptist Churches, by E.T. Hiscox, I quote:

"It is most likely that in the Apostolic age when there was but `one Lord, one faith, and one baptism,' and no differing denominations existed, the baptism of a convert by that very act constituted him a member of the church and at once endowed him with all the rights and privileges of full membership. In that sense, `baptism was the door into the church.' Now, it is different; (underscoring mine, LB) and while the churches are desirous of receiving members they are wary and cautious that they do not receive unworthy persons. The churches therefore have candidates come before them, make their statement, give their "experience," and then their reception is decided by a vote of the members."

Stop and think for a moment of the consequences of Mr. Hiscox making such a statement and the dilemma in which it places him and all others of the Baptist denomination which ascribe to this Baptist Manual. "Now it is different," Therefore:

  1. Acts 2:47, which states that God does the adding to the church, can be deleted from our Bibles.
  2. All scriptures which pertain to baptism as a necessary part of our salvation can be removed from our Bibles (i.e. Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38, 22:16; Rom. 6:2-4; Gal. 3:27; 1 Cor. 12:13; Col. 2:12; Mt. 28:19, 20; Jn. 3:5; Tit. 3:5; Rom. 6:17, 18 and numerous other passages as well).
  3. Deut. 4:2; Gal. 1:8, 9 and Rev. 22:18, 19 are really not needed because "one faith" is not true, as we do as the Manual says.
  4. The church which Christ purchased with His blood (Acts 20:28) and all other passages dealing with it are not needed because the Baptist church which was established in 1611 can make its own rules.
  5. James 2:24 can be cut out of our Bibles because man is saved by "faith only."
  6. Those passages dealing with the type of music in the churches' worship can be deleted (i.e. 1 Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; and Heb. 13:15).
  7. 1 Cor. 16:2 is removable because we collect money every time we meet and not just on the Lord's day.

8. The "Lord's Supper" need not be partaken of, so Acts 20:7 and those passages which deal with the establishment of the Supper are of no value.

9. All passages dealing with "elders, bishops or overseers" can be blotted out because deacons and preachers rule the Baptist churches.

10. All passages which deal with the possibility of Apostasy can be removed because Baptist cannot fall from grace (i.e., 1 Cor. 10:12; 2 Tim. 2:11, 12; Heb. 3, 4, 10, 12, 13; James 5:12; Rev. 2:5 and numerous others).

This article could continue for pages and .pages as a result of Mr, Hiscox's statement and the practices which the Baptist churches, along with numerous other denominations, practice in the name of religion. But brethren and friends, the words of Jesus which will judge us, (Jn. 12:48) do not change (Heb. 13:8). Just as the wise an of old said in Eccl. 1:9, "There is no new thing under the sun," we today cannot say, "Now it is different" and expect to be pleasing unto God, because Rom. 3:4 says, "let God be true, but every man a liar" We become a liar when we teach something different. Is what you believe different than the Bible? Do not believe a lie because the Bible is true (Jn. 17:17).

Guardian of Truth XXV: 2, p. 18
January 8, 1981