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Letter From S. N. Redford PDF Print E-mail
Written by Elder S.N. Redford   

    Copied from "A Church In The Vale -- The Story Of Valley Springs" by Mabel Osbourn

  LETTER FROM ELDER S. N. REDFORD TO THE RULE MEETING Apr. 1927


     To my precious brethren assembled at Rule, Texas

    As my means will not permit my coming to your meeting, as I am so far away, I desire to take this only method of speaking the sentiments of my heart concerning the situation confronting us.

    FIRST, it has developed that our brethren from whom we are separated do not believe the Whole Man Doctrine. All deny believing that the body is made spiritual in regeneration. Therefore, we made a mistake in declaring non-fellowship for them without ascertaining for certain whether they held to this heresy. It is true that some presented arguments that the logical conclusion was the Whole Man Doctrine, but all deny the consequences of their positions. But they have confessed their error in this and should be forgiven and this matter dropped forever. The above being true, we should come together on the basis of the DALLAS RECOMMENDATIONS and receive each other's work so far as good order will justify.

PB-Online Note: Click here to read the Dallas Recommendations.

    SECOND, the Primitive Baptists of every state in the Union, so far as my knowledge extends, endorse the Recommendations. Can we afford to set our judgment up against the whole denomination? Must we have our own way? Must we set our personal opinion up against that of the whole denomination? No man that is informed in church history will deny that it has been the practice of Primitive Baptists in the past, where churches have divided, to come together where the division has not been over fundamentals, and received each other's works. Therefore, if it has not destroyed the churches in the past, it will not do so now, and therefore , we should unite on the DALLAS RECOMMENDATIONS.

    THIRD, granting that there is some disorder among the factions, this in itself does not say that all they have done is disorder. In olden times when the children of Israel disobeyed God and took strange wives (disorder), God commanded them to put away the strange wives, together with the children born to them. But, all the children born to Israel while this prevailed, were not illegitimate children. Now, our brethren from whom we have separated have agreed, if they have any strange wives among them, that they are willing to put them away together with their children. That was all that was required in the type, and it is an extreme to require more in the anti-type. Therefore, the above being true, we should unite on the DALLAS RECOMMENDATIONS .

    FOURTH, as I see it, to continue to fight each other over unsound expressions that have been used in the past, and that brethren have confessed were wrong, and asked forgiveness for, to continue to hold the dearest people on earth apart over the cries for peace from the precious children of God from the north to the south, from the east to the west; yes, the innocent sheep and especially the lambs of our Master--it is simply heart-rending to view it from this viewpoint. For instance: my own children were so desirous that peace should be made that one said, "Papa, if you will go to Rule, I will pay $10.00 of your expenses." One said, "Papa I will give $5.00." Another one said, "I hate to see the Old Baptists go backward. I would like to see them go forward." Now, two of these children do not even belong to the church. Is it possible that we have become so carnal that we have less interest, in the peace of the saints than outsiders? Doubtless, dear brethren, you all know of similar cases. The fact of the business is, we have become such sticklers for order that it seems we have lost sight of everything else. Where does mercy come in? Where does forbearance have a place? Where is the love that hides a multitude of sins? Do you suppose that we have made an idol of order? You know that if we have not said as much, our positions say that there are no orderly Baptists in the U. S. except in Texas. Brethren, we have fought and devoured one another and set up standards for all to come to, until we have cut ourselves off from the affiliation, fellowship, and association of all the Old Baptists except a few in Texas; and not only so, but have driven many of the children away from the church -some of them into Babylon, and we should atone for this as much as possible by uniting under the DALLAS RECOMMENDATIONS at once, and we will see many of the precious lambs of bur Master hail the day with joy and come to the church that we have driven them away from.

    FIFTH, I now want to appeal to the aged brethren at Rule: Dear faithful old gray-headed brethren, our last battle will soon be fought. Some of us have had more to do with separating the Old Baptists than others, but the time is short with us. We must soon go down to rise no more until Jesus comes for us. Shall we not now, in view of the rave, do our bit for peace? You know the Bible says, "Old men for council; young men for war." Our time is short. We older ones should set the example striving for peace. Therefore, since our time is short, and since the DALLAS RECOMMENDATIONS are Scriptural, we should urge our dear people to unite upon them.

    SIXTH, another fact not to be overlooked is that to continue as we have means more divisions and separation. Our hearts have been made to bleed; many bitters tears have been shed over our sad divisions. Have we not had enough? We have witnessed during our cruel wars the downfall of able ministers, as well as the slaughter of innocent sheep. How are the mighty fallen, as said by one of old, has come true time and again.

    Now in CONCLUSION, let me say that there is no weapon to compete with the weapon of love. It is said to "never fail". I dearly love each one of you, and I can truthfully say that I hold nothing against any one in the world. The poor scattered Baptists in this far away country are getting closer and closer together since the agitation stopped, and are beginning to show they love one another. I mean myself included in all this.

    They have set the Second Sunday in May to all meet and see if we can unite on gospel principles. Our brethren here talked of going to Rule, but finally gave it out. But one said, "We will pray God to guide our dear brethren in paths of peace."

    Yes, we are praying. And should we receive the glad news that you have reached an agreement, there will be more joy among the war-torn churches of Texas than ever before known. On the other hand, should you fail to reach an agreement, all hopes will be gone for a settlement forever, and sadness and sorrow will fill our hearts. May God bless you all is the prayer of your little brother in hope.


    Farewell

    S. N. Redford

    Harlingen, Texas

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 July 2007 )
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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.