By A. C. Grider
During the last several years, I have met Baptist preachers in public debate more than twenty-five times. I feel like I know about as much as anybody about the Baptist Church and its teachings. I have decided to set forth some of the things I consider to be wrong with this religious organization.
The Baptist Church Is Unknown To The Word Of God
The first thing that strikes me when writing concerning the Baptist Church is that the Bible knows nothing about it and says nothing about it. That’s right, the Bible doesn’t mention the Baptist Church. You cannot find, in the Bible, how to become a member of the Baptist Church. You have to go onward and abide not in the doctrine of Christ to find anything about the Baptist Church. You have to transgress the doctrine of Christ to find out how to become a member of the Baptist Church. That, of course, is the first thing wrong with it.
Jesus said, in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church…” Thus we have no trouble finding the New Testament church and the founder thereof in the Bible. But history (even Baptist History) records that the first Baptist Church of record was formed by John Smythe, who had been a clergyman in the Church of England, in 1607 (Benedict’s History of The Baptists, p. 304). The first Baptist Church in America was founded by Roger Williams at Providence, Rhode Island in 1639 A.D. We can see that the Baptist Church was founded by the wrong man to be the New Testament Church. And of course, since the New Testament Church was to be built in Jerusalem, (Isa. 2:2-4; Luke 24:46-49; Zech. 1:16; Acts 2), the Baptist Church was founded at the wrong place to be the New Testament Church. And since the first Baptist Church was founded in 1607 it was founded at the wrong time to be the New Testament church since it was founded in A.D. 33. How can a church founded by the wrong man at the wrong place and at the wrong time bear any resemblance to the New Testament Church? It cannot!
The Plan Of Salvation
Not only was the Baptist Church started by the wrong man at the wrong place and at the wrong time, but the plan of salvation espoused and propagated by the Baptist Church is also wrong. Actually, it would be difficult to put down the exact position of the Baptist Church on becoming a child of God. Some say one may be saved by praying. Others say one is saved by faith without further acts of obedience. Others say salvation is by grace alone. But all Baptists deny that salvation comes through obedience to Christ, which puts them in opposition to the Bible.
Hebrews 5:8-9 records that Christ, through His sufferings, became the author of salvation to all them that obey Him. This is plain enough to be understood by all. But further, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 records that those who do not obey the gospel will be punished with everlasting destruction. Thus, God has said He will save the obedient and will punish the disobedient.
Salvation is by faith and it cannot be denied. Many passages could be cited to substantiate that fact. John 3:16, Acts 10:43, Ephesians 2:8-9, and a host of other verses attest to salvation by faith. But the word “faith” is a comprehensive term many times when used in the Bible. The three passages cited are cases in point. The people on the Day of Pentecost heard the word preached, believed it, repented and were baptized. Yet they are described as people who believed (Acts 2:44; 4:32). The Philippian Jailor was told that he could be saved by believing. He heard the word and rendered obedience unto it, including being baptized the same hour of the night. Then he is described as a believer (Acts 16:30-34). So it took obedience to constitute the kind of believing that is indicated. The people at the house of Cornelius were told that they had to fear God and work righteousness to be accepted with God. Then they were told that they could have remission of sins through faith (belief) in God (Acts 10:43). Then they were commanded to be baptized in the name of the Lord (Acts 10:47).
The Divine Order
In 1 Chronicles 13, 14, and 15 we have the incident of the moving of the ark of God from one place to another. The record says they carried the ark in a new cart. God had said many years earlier, that they should not touch any holy thing lest they die. When they came to a certain place, the oxen stumbled and the -ark was in danger of being thrown out of the cart; so Uzza put his hands on the ark. The anger of the Lord was kindled against him and He smote him that he died.
David was concerned about the matter and began to consider what caused the tragedy. He concluded that God had made the breach upon them because they “sought him not after the due order” (I Chron. 15:13). God was concerned that He be sought after the due order. When we look at the New Testament concerning baptism and salvation, we find that the due (divine) order is baptism then salvation every time they are mentioned together. I will reproduce the Scriptures that mention baptism and salvation (or its equivalent) together so we may see what the “divine order” really is:
Mark 1:4 – “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” Baptism then remission.
Luke 3:3 – “And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” Baptism then remission.
Mark 16:16 – “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. But he that believeth not shall be damned.” Baptism then salvation.
Acts 2:38 – “Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Baptism then remission.
Acts 22:16 – “And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” Baptism then sins washed away.
1 Peter 3:21 – “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh but the answer of a good conscious toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Baptism then salvation.
Thus the unmistakable divine order is baptism then salvation. But the Baptist Church comes along and decides that the divine order is wrong every time and that it should be salvation then baptism. Would God reverse the correct order every time it is mentioned in His word? The only conclusion to be drawn here is that the Baptist Church is wrong in its approach to this matter.
Why Should One Be Baptized In The Bible?
Jesus said teach and baptize the people (Matt. 28:19); Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16); baptism is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38); baptism is to wash away sins (Acts 22:16); people justify God when they are baptized (Luke 7:29); people reject the counsel of God when they refuse to be baptized (Luke 7:30); to be baptized is to be born of water (John 3:5); to be baptized is to put on Christ (Gal. 3:27); to be baptized is to get into Christ (Rom. 6:3); baptism is a part of regeneration (Titus 3:5); baptism puts one into the one body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13); God operates on one in baptism (Col. 2:12); baptism is a command (Acts 10:48); we are baptized so as to walk a new life (Rom. 6:4); and baptism is a part of believing in Christ (Acts 19:1-5).
Why, in the light of the foregoing would the Baptist Church come along and say baptism has nothing whatsoever to do with being saved? Why? Because the Baptist Church is wrong about the matter. We should be willing to take exactly what the Bible says about these matters if we expect to go to heaven when we die.
Look Further At A Deadly Contrast
Mark 16:16 God’s way: Believe – Baptize – Saved
Man’s way: Believe – Saved – Baptism
Acts 2:38 God’s way: Repent – Baptized – Remission
Man’s way: Repent – Remission – Baptism
Acts 22:16 God’s way: away sins
Man’s way: Baptized
Rom. 6:2-4 God’s way: Die to sin – Baptized – Arise to new life
Man’s way: Die to sin – Arise to new life – Baptized
Gal. 3:27 God’s way: As many as – Baptized – Put on Christ
Man’s way: As many as – Put on Christ Baptized
1 Cor. 12:13 God’s way: By one Spirit – Baptized Into one body
Man’s way: By one Spirit – Into one body – Baptized
Col. 2:12 God’s way: Dead – Baptized – Risen with Him
Man’s way: Dead – Risen with Christ Baptized
Matt. 28:19 God’s way: Teach – Baptize – Teach
Man’s way: Teach – Teach – Baptize
John 3:5 God’s way: Water – Spirit – Enter kingdom
Man’s way: Spirit – Enter kingdom Water (baptism)
Titus 3:5 God’s way: Saved us – Washing Renewing of Holy Ghost
Man’s way: Saved us – Renewing of Holy Ghost -Washing
Rom. 6:17-18 God’s way: In sins – Obeyed – Then free
Man’s way: In sins – Then free – Obeyed
Once again we can see that the Bible is wrong every time it mentions these matters, or the Baptist Church is wrong every time they mention them. So it becomes a matter of whom we shall believe. Wouldn’t it be good if people would be willing just to take what God’s Word says?
The Final Security Of The Believer
There is another thing on which the Baptist Church is wrong. They teach once in grace always in grace, or final security for the believer. On this subject the Baptist Church makes three fatal mistakes. They fail to recognize that we can nulify that by which we are saved; they fail to recognize that salvation is conditional; and they fail to recognize what a child-of God can do. Let us notice these three things:
Nullifying That By Which We Are Saved
We are saved by faith but some may depart from the faith (1 Tim. 4:1).
We are saved by grace but some may fail of the grace of God (Heb. 12:15).
We are saved by hope but some may be moved away from the hope (Col. 1:23).
We are saved by blood but some may count the blood unholy (Heb. 10:29).
We are saved by Lord but some may deny the Lord (2 Pet. 2:1).
We are saved by truth but some may err from the truth (Jas. 5:19).
We are saved by love but some may not keep in the love (Jude 21).
We are saved by gospel but some may believe it in vain (1 Cor. 15:1-2).
We are saved by promise but some may come short of it (Heb. 4:1).
We are saved by God but some may depart from God (Heb. 3:12).
We are saved by Spirit but some may do despite unto it (Heb. 10:29).
We are saved by enduring but some may not endure (Matt. 10:22).
It is easy to see that the love of God, the truth of God, the grace of God, the promise of God, and all the other things that enter into our salvation depend altogether upon what disposition we make of these blessings.
Salvation Is Conditional
We are saved if we keep in memory . . . (1 Cor. 15:2).
We are the Lord’s house if we hold fast (Heb. 3:6).
We are holy if we continue in the faith (Col. 1:23).
We are cleansed if we walk in the light (1 John 1:7).
We shall never fall if we do these things (2 Pet. 1:10).
We are disciples indeed if we continue in the word (John 8:31).
The Father will honor us if we serve Christ (John 12:26).
We shall reap if we faint not (Gal. 6:9).
It doesn’t take a Solomon to see that these blessings are based upon what we do about them. Meet the conditions and you can’t fail. Fail to meet them and you already have fallen!
Things A Child Of God Can Do
He can fail of the grace of God (Heb. 12:15).
He can be led away with error of the wicked (2 Pet. 3:17).
He can err from the truth (Jas. 5:19).
He can turn aside after Satan (1 Tim. 5:15).
He can fall from his steadfastness (2 Pet. 3:17).
He can perish if he is weak (1 Cor. 8:11).
He can forsake the right way (2 Pet. 2:14-15).
He can turn from the holy commandment (2 Pet. 2:21).
He can fall into condemnation (Jas. 5:12).
He can be a castaway (1 Cor. 9:27).
He can be cast forth as a branch and be burned (John 15:1-6).
He can become neither hot nor cold (Rev. 3:14-18).
He can be spoiled through deceit (Col. 2:8).
He can be moved away from the hope (Col. 1:23).
He can deny the Lord that bought him (2 Pet. 2:1).
He can do despite unto the Spirit if grace (Heb. 10:29).
He can depart from the living God (Heb. 3:12).
He can come short of the promise of God (Heb. 4:1).
He can believe the gospel in vain (1 Cor. 15:1-3).
He can count the blood of the covenant unholy (Heb. 10:29).
He can depart from the faith (1 Tim. 4:1).
He can fall after the same example of unbelief (Heb. 4:11).
If one should do all of these things would he still be saved? If he did part of these things would he be saved? If he did only one of these things would he still be saved?
The Baptist Church was started by the wrong person, at the wrong time, and at the wrong place to be the New Testament church. The Baptist Church teaches a plan of salvation unknown to the word of God. You can do everything in the New Testament and you still won’t be a Baptist. The Baptist Church does not seek God after the due (divine) order. They change the order every time. The Baptist Church rejects every word the Bible says about being baptized. The Baptist Church perverts every thing the New Testament says in the “Deadly Contrast” which I have drawn. The Baptist Church misinterprets and misapplies every word the Bible says in their teaching concerning the final security of the believer. The Baptist Church nullifies every thing the New Testament says about what we may do with the things by which we are saved. The Baptist Church fails to take into consideration that salvation is conditional and depends upon what we do about the matter. The Baptist Church ignores every thing the Bible says about what a child of God can do.
In short, the Baptist Church teaches you don’t do anything to be saved and then that you can’t do anything to be lost. They are wrong on both ends.
Guardian of Truth XXVII: 4, pp. 114-116
February 17, 1983