By Larry Ray Hafey
Our Lord calls men to obey and serve Him (1 Thess. 2:12; Acts 2:39). His calling card is the word “Whereunto he called you by our gospel” (2 Thess. 2:14). When one receives the divine summons, he ought to believe it (Eph. 1:13). “Access by one Spirit unto the Father” (Eph. 2:18), or “access by faith into this grace” (Rom. 5:2), is “by the gospel” (Eph. 3:6). “By one Spirit” is equal to “by the gospel” in the texts above. One enters, that is, has “access by faith into this grace.”
“The Call To Preach”
That the apostles were called and commissioned to preach no Bible believer doubts or denies (Jn. 17:18; Matt. 28:18-20; Rom. 10:15). However, denominational clergymen, “Pastors,” become such, they say, when they “receive the call to preach.” But does God call these men? Does the God and the Christ who sent His Spirit to tell believers to repent and be baptized “for the remission of sins” send a Baptist preacher to tell them they are saved “at the point of faith, before and without water baptism?” Does the Lord, who sent Philip and the eunuch “down both into the water,” send a Methodist bishop to a chalice or tea cup to do the same job? If He does, why does He send a Baptist and tell him not to sprinkle for baptism? The Baptist says God called him, too, but that God told him it was wrong to sprinkle.
Did Jesus authorize Paul to tell certain brethren in Galatia, “Ye are fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4), and send Baptist preachers to tell people today that such a thing is impossible? If He does, why does the same Lord send Methodists and Pentecostals to preach that one may fall from grace? Then does the Lord “call” the Pentecostal to preach that speaking in tongues is the “initial evidence of Holy Ghost baptism” which is for all believers today? With as much proof for his calling as any other denominational preacher, the Pentecostal assures us that it is true. But did the same Lord send Paul to contradict the Pentecostal’s claim (1 Cor. 13:8-13)? He sent Paul; did He send the Pentecostal? If so, did He also send the Missionary Baptist preacher to refute and rebuke what He sent the Pentecostal to preach?
Who is the author of all this confusion and delusion? It is not the God of The Bible. The apostles did not contradict and contravene one another in such a fashion as denominational preachers do (1 Cor. 15:11). The examples and questions set forth above cannot be laughed and shrugged off as the rantings of a wild-eyed, narrowminded, legalist Campbellite. They demand an answer. They cannot be answered with your best grin. Those who are desirous of receiving denominational “Pastors” as called and sent of God need to be first in the line of response.
What The Bible Makes
The word of God, the New Testament, the gospel never made a man a Lutheran, a Baptist, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, a Mormon, or a Pentecostal. Lutherans claim that they love the Bible, but it has not made them Baptists. Baptists stake as much claim on the Bible and they will tell you that it has not made them Lutherans. Methodists have the same love for the same Bible, but it has not made them Baptists. Presbyterians believe the same Bible as the Methodists who claim it made them Methodists, but it has not made the Presbyterians into Methodists.
If you show me a canary and tell me you got it by breeding elephants and that by breeding canaries you produced hyenas, then you will have a parallel to the breeding of the word of God and denominationalism.
Preachers called and sent of God produced disciples, brethren, Christians. These people constituted the church; they were translated into the kingdom. They were both of and in one faith. Why should we compromise and improvise and tell men that is any different today?
Guardian of Truth XXVII: 6, p. 204
April 7, 1983