Why Mark Jones Is Right… and Wrong

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Mark Jones

Let me be the first (perhaps not) Baptist to admit that Mark Jones was spot on in many regards in his post “A Plea for Realism”:Are Presbyterians Christians? It seems to me that Mark Jones is simply calling for a little intellectual honesty from us Baptists. Well, allow me to humor him.

I certainly agree that, if we do not allow unbaptized believers to take communion, that should include those who have been “baptized” in a way that we believe to be unbiblical and, thus, no baptism at all. If a paedobaptist came to my church who refused to be baptized post-confession due to having been sprinkled as an infant, we would not allow him to be a member, so why would we allow him to take communion? Baptism, in every Christian tradition, has historically preceded communion. Baptism preceding communion is both a historical and a biblical view. On this point, most Baptists and Presbyterians agree.

Therefore, for me to dissuade my Presbyterian friends from taking communion in my local church, I am not saying they are not Christians so much as that they have not followed biblical mandate in regard to the order of the sacraments. That is, baptism precedes communion. On this point, they would obviously disagree with me, because they hold to a different understanding of baptism. However, for Baptists to cave on this issue and allow for unbaptized Presbyterians (and that’s what we think they are) to take communion, we would be going against our confession’s definition of true baptism.

However, we are not alone in this stance. Presbyterians must take issue with at least some Baptists taking communion in their churches. Just this week, I listened to a somewhat refreshing episode of Reformed Forum in which Jim Cassidy admitted that Baptist parents are in sin who do not baptize their infants in keeping with a Presbyterian view of baptism. I think this is the only consistent Presbyterian view and, as such, I don’t see how Baptist parents can take communion in Presbyterian churches, unless Presbyterians encourage people in open, unrepentant sin to take communion.

ctc-album300Either way, both traditions have an issue when it comes to what Jones calls “catholicity” and baptism. Neither one of us can deny that we see the other as being disobedient to our Lord’s ordinance of baptism. Are Baptists inconsistent to call their Presbyterian friends Christians? Not quite as inconsistent, I would argue, as those Presbyterian churches that allow consistently Baptist parents to take communion.

So, perhaps the proper way to respond to our Presbyterian friends when they try to corner us on these issues is not to bend over backward to try to be ecumenical. Perhaps, the best response is to affirm them where they are correct, but demonstrate how they have to answer the same questions regarding their sacramentology. None of us are immune. At a certain level, each believe the other (credos and paedos) is disobedient at a certain level, and that must stand as a guard to the communion table at some point.

See also Tom Hicks’ response to Jones’ article. Michael Haykin has also chimed in, and Jones has offered his critique of Haykins’ response here.

CCF Episode Twenty-One: The Gospel According to the 1689

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In this episode, Billy and JD sit down to discuss the gospel as it is summarized in The Baptist Confession.

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There is a chapter in The Baptist Confession called “Of the Gospel and the Extent of the Grace Thereof.” Quite a mouthful, ay? Anyway, I just wanted to make note of it, since we really didn’t take time to explore it in this episode. It’s there. Perhaps the reason we don’t spend a whole lot of time on discussing that one chapter is because we see it primarily as functioning as a type of summary of the confession itself, insofar as the confession is a summary of the gospel and its implications. Anyway, if you’d like more reading on this chapter, check this out from Dr. Bob Gonzales:

This chapter on “the gospel” is not found in the Westminster Confession. The Congregationalists added this chapter to the Savoy Declaration, and the Baptists incorporated it into their Confession.” Read more…

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The book we skimmed over:

BaptistConfessionLeather1689

 

The Baptist Confession & The Baptist Catechism
edited by James Renihan

We’d love your participation. Contact us with your comments and questions about the confession’s contents:

Catechism for Boys and Girls, Part Two: The Ten Commandments

Visit the Catechism for Boys and Girls page to read the entire catechism as it is posted.

Q.34: How many commandments did God give on Mount Sinai?

A. Ten commandments.

( Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 5:1-22 )

 

Q.35: What are the ten commandments sometimes called?

A. God’s moral law.

( Luke 20:25-28; Romans 2:14, 15; 10:5 )

 

Q.36: What do the first four commandments teach?

A. Our duty to God.

( Deuteronomy 6:5, 6; 10:12, 13 )

 

Q.37: What do the last six commandments teach?

A. Our duty to our fellow men.

( Deuteronomy 10:19; Micah 6:8; cf. Galatians 6:10 )

 

Q.38: What is the sum of the ten commandments?

A. To love God with all my heart, and my neighbor as myself.

( Deuteronomy 6:1-15; 11:1; Matthew 22:35-40; James 2:8 )

 

Q.39: Who is your neighbor?

A. All my fellow men are my neighbors.

( Luke 10:25-37; 6:35 )

 

Q.40: Is God pleased with those who love and obey him?

A. Yes. He says, ‘I love them that love me’

( Proverbs 8:17; Exodus 20:6; 1John 4:7-16 )

 

Q.41: Is God pleased with those who do not love and obey him?

A. No. ‘God is angry with the wicked every day’

( Psalm 7:11; Malachi 2:17; Proverbs 6:16-19; 1Corinthians 16:22 )

 

Q.42: What is the first commandment?

A. The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

( Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5:7 )

 

Q.43: What does the first commandment teach us?

A. To worship God only.

( Isaiah 45:5, 6; Matthew 4:10; Revelation 22:8, 9 )

 

Q.44: What is the second commandment?

A. The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them: for I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

( Exodus 20:4-6; Deuteronomy 5:8-10 )

 

Q.45: What does the second commandment teach us?

A. To worship God in the right way, and to avoid idolatry.

( Isaiah 44:9-20; 46:5-9; John 4:23, 24; Acts 17:29 )

 

Q.46: What is the third commandment?

A. The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

( Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11 )

 

Q.47: What does the third commandment teach us?

A. To reverence God’s name, word, and works.

( Isaiah 8:13; Psalm 29:2; 138:2; Revelation 15:3, 4 )

 

Q.48: What is the fourth commandment?

A. The fourth commandment is, Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

( Exodus 20:8-11; 23:12; Deuteronomy 5:12-15 )

 

Q.49: What does the fourth commandment teach us?

A. To keep the Sabbath holy.

( Leviticus 19:20; 23:3; Isaiah 58:13, 14 )

 

Q.50: What day of the week is the Christian Sabbath?

A. The first day of the week, called the Lord’s Day.

( Acts 29:7; Revelation 1:10 )

 

Q.51: Why is it called the Lord’s Day?

A. Because on that day Christ rose from the dead.

( Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1-6; John 20:1 )

 

Q.52: How should the Sabbath be kept?

A. In prayer and praise, in hearing and reading God’s Word, and in doing good to our fellow men.

( Isaiah 58:13, 14; Acts 20:7; 1Corinthians 16:2; Luke 4:16; Matthew 12:10-13 )

 

Q.53: What is the fifth commandment?

A. The fifth commandment is, Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

( Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16 )

 

Q.54: What does the fifth commandment teach us?

A. To love and obey our parents.

( Matthew 15:3-6; Ephesus 6:1-3; Colossians 3:20 )

 

Q.55: What is the sixth commandment?

A. The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.

( Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17 )

 

Q.56: What does the sixth commandment teach us?

A. To avoid hatred.

( Matthew 5:21-24; 1John 3:15 )

 

Q.57: What is the seventh commandment?

A. The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.

( Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18 )

 

Q.58: What does the seventh commandment teach us?

A. To be pure in heart, language and conduct.

( Matthew 5:27, 28; Ephesus 5:3-5; Philippians 4:8, 9 )

 

Q.59: What is the eighth commandment?

A. The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.

( Exodus 20:15; Deuteronomy 5:19 )

 

Q.60: What doe the eighth commandment teach us?

A. To be honest and not to take the things of others.

( Exodus 23:4; Proverbs 21:6, 7; Ephesus 4:28 )

 

Q.61: What is the ninth commandment?

A. The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

( Exodus 20:16; Deuteronomy 5:20 )

 

Q.62: What does the ninth commandment teach us?

A. To tell the truth and not to speak evil of others.

( Psalm 15:1-3; Zechariah 8:16; 1Corinthians 13;6; James 4:11 )

 

Q.63: What is the tenth commandment?

A. The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not  covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.

( Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21; Romans 7:7 )

 

Q.64: What does the tenth commandment teach us?

A. To be content with what we have.

( Philippians 4:11; 1Timothy 6:6-8; Hebrews 13:5 )

 

Q.65: Can any man keep these ten commandments?

A. No mere man, since the fall of Adam, ever did or can keep the ten commandments perfectly.

( Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:19, 20; James 2:10; 1John 1:8, 10 )

 

Q.66: Of what use are the ten commandments to us?

A. They teach us our duty, make clear our condemnation, and show us our need of a Saviour.

( 1Timothy 1:8-11; Romans 3:20; Galatians 3:24 )

 

Q.67: Does God condemn all men?

A. No.  Though he could justly have done so he has graciously entered into a covenant to save many.

( Romans 3:19, 20, 23-25; John 17:11, 12; Isaiah 53:11 )

The Baptist Layman’s Catechism, Questions 2&3

Q.2. Are church and denominational creeds necessary and desirable?

A. Creeds or confessions of faith are necessary from the nature of the human mind and the character of revealed truth. Without a creed there could be no preaching, no church organization, no doctrinal fellowship, no evangelical faith, no singing and no praying.

Q.3. Why do so many religious teachers, both in oral and written discourse, disparage the use of creeds and confessions of faith in matters of religion?

A. (1) When the grounds of their objections are disclosed, it is generally plain that these teachers do not object to creeds as such, but only to such as are out of harmony with their views and oppose their methods. The young man, representing the Young Men’s Christian Association, with a limp Bible under his arm, often objects to creeds, but no one has more creed than he has; he is objecting to any one’s having any creed but his; it is all right to believe as he does. He is not alone. (2) Again, the substitution of a creed for piety and a Christly life has no doubt driven many really earnest people to disparage creeds, regarding them as substitutes for vital Godliness. Good old Andrew Fuller says, “The man who has no creed has no belief, which is the same thing as being an unbeliever; and he whose belief is not formed into a system has only a few loose, unconnected thoughts, without entering into the harmony and glory of the Gospel. Every well informed and consistent believer, therefore, must have a creed–a system which he supposes to contain the leading principles of Divine revelation.” (Fuller’s Works, Vol. 3, p. 449.)

an excerpt from R.A. Venable’s The Baptist Layman’s Hand-Book, pp.9-10.

The Confessing Baptist: Hercules Collins’ The Orthodox Catechism

Our very own Junior reproduced The Orthodox Catechism, below is an intro, and a link to the Scrib’d version.

In 1680, Pastor Hercules_Collins of Old Gravel Lane Particular Baptist Church, London, England, and Subscriber to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, revised the Heidelberg_Catechism for his church and published it as the Orthodox Catechism.

Included in the Orthodox Catechism are two sections rejected by the 1677 General Assembly of Particular Baptists, those being “Of Singing of Psalms and &” and “Of the Laying on of Hands”. Although rejected by the London Assembly, these two sections were added by the Philadelphia Baptist Association to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith and published in 1742 as the Philadelphia Baptist Confession of Faith.

Get it here.

from The Confessing Baptist.

BF&M – Article XI, Evangelism and Missions

It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man’s spirit by God’s Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

( Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8,16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 3:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 22:17 )