When Teaching and Practice Do Not Harmonize”

By Ken Vaughn

Article One of the Articles of Faith of The Standard Manual for Baptist Churches by Edward T. Hiscox, D. D., says, “We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and this is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried” (58).

The above statement concerning the Bible is certainly true. Does the author of the statement truly believe what he said? Evidently, he does not! The very presence of the creed from which the statement is quoted proves the inconsistency of his claim. He is either deceived or dishonest. The man who believes what he said concerning the Bible will not spend one minute writing a human creed. He who believes what he said about the Bible will not subscribe to his human creed!

On page 56 of the same Manual we read: “All evangelical churches profess to take the Holy Scriptures as their only and sufficient guide in matters of religious faith and practice. Baptists, especially, claim to have no authoritative creed except the New Testament.”

How can a man claim that they have no authoritative creed except the New Testament when the very statement is written in a creed which is not the New Testament? It seems that anyone should be able to think more clearly than that, and certainly a “D.D.” They may “profess” to take the Holy Scriptures as their “only” and sufficient guide, but they do not. Their action denies their claim! The man who truly believes that the Bible is a “sufficient guide” in religion wouldn’t give a dime a dozen for human creeds and manuals. The man who wrote the Manual and the churches which claim to follow it are inconsistent.

Inconsistency is not limited to the Baptists. Some among us can be just as inconsistent, and our inconsistency is even more inexcusable.

For example: Would you be willing for your son or daughter to attend a dance at the church building. It would be chaperoned by the preacher and his wife. We will have punch and other things to eat. We will play music from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and even some modern stuff. Your children could do the bop, twist and even the grind. Doesn’t this sound interesting. There is no sense just letting the kids have all the fun, why don’t we all just come and dance; I am sure there are some who would like to dance with your wife. After all, all we are doing is providing a social occasion for young and old.

I am certain that there are some whose blood pressure has already peaked. If it is alright for your sons and daughters to attend a dance and it is not sin, then why do we not have one here at the building? If the building is the problem, I’ll rent a room at the local hotel. Would you allow anther man who is a member of this congregation to cuddle your wife while dancing? Why would you allow a stranger to do the same with your daughter?

I am equally certain that if we were to think of the clothing that some wear in public they would be ashamed if they really knew what is thought of them. Some I fear have no idea of decent clothing and “shamefacedness” and what is far worse is that some parents who claim to love God stimulate such attire and action. Think about how your sons and daughters run around dressed. Skirts that are too short and shorts that are too short are not conducive to godly living. Allowing your children to live, dress, or act ungodly is a sin upon you as a parent and you will be held accountable (Eph. 6:4).

There is but one conclusion that can be made. These people either do not love their children or do not love God! If they truly loved their children they would do all that they could to give them the grounding that they might make it to heaven rather than the concept of desiring that they might be the most popular girl/boy in school.

Parents that allow their children to participant in activities that would cause others to sin are contrary to basic tenets of God’s plan. These parents need to be disciplined and taught or re-taught what God expects of them. When we openly defy God’s word there is no more sacrifice for sin (Heb. 10:26).

When we allow sin to fester it will grow and become worse. Do you want to go to heaven? I hope that this is your goal. If we miss heaven, we will have missed all that there is. Do you want your children to go to heaven? Be-gin today to train them in the paths that will lead them to God. Give them the tools to fight Satan so their life will be filled with the glory of God.

Guardian of Truth XL: No. 22, p. 12-13
November 21, 1996