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Questions From a Missionary Baptist PDF Print E-mail
Written by W.M. Mitchell   
The Gospel Messenger--December 1883 

A Missionary Baptist gentleman writes us from Mississippi, in a very respectful manner, expressing a desire to read our magazine and learn, if possible, what is the difference between his denomination and Primitive Baptists. lie says there are no churches of our order in that country, and he does not meet with any of the members, but he has been told that we are opposed to “Mission work,” and desires to know whether this is so, or whether we are only o to the “methods of conducting” such work; and also whether we are opposed to Sunday Schools, or only the ‘methods of conducting them,” and the “books used in them.” he also states that he has read with interest our article on Sunday Schools in the September issue of the MESSENGER (1882), “but did not gather from it that we are opposed to schools, but only to the books used.”

If our Mississippi correspondent, has ever been truly converted to God, and born of an incorruptible seed by the word of God, he loves the truth in his heart, and there is some hope for his being instructed in the right way of the Lord, though he may have been much bewildered in mind and led astray by the doctrines and commandments of men. But if he knows nothing but what he has ]earned from books and from human teachers, he is but a “natural man” in understanding; and however intelligent and refined he may be in that respect, he cannot, with that qualification alone, “receive the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”—l Cor. 2:14. And, without following our correspondent’s questions in the numerical order in which they are presented, we say, that while we are in favor of schools for teaching literature, or any natural science which has for its object the cultivation of the human mind, and the application of science to any proper and laudable object which natural men and women are capable of, yet we do oppose every school, of every grade or name, whether it be called Sunday or Monday school, which has for its pretended object—the making of Christians, or even imparting to any of the posterity of Adam, a knowledge of the guilt of sin, of God, of Christ, or of the holy Ghost. We believe that any school which uninspired men have originated, and of which they are the teachers, claiming to be even a means of God’s ordaining, to prepare the mind and heart of children for the reception of the gospel, is a base and wicked assumption of men, wholly unauthorized by the sacred word of God. To ascribe to the schools of men, that work which God alone can do; or to substitute the wisdom and learning of this world to do that which can only be done by the Spirit and power of God, is certainly wrong and sinful.

If our Mississippi correspondent has failed to gather from September number of the GOSPEL MESSENGER that we oppose both the modern Sunday School and the methods of conducting it, we have but little hope of enlightening him by anything we might say further upon this subject. It may be however, that our friend has not carefully noticed the following sentence of our editorial article, on page l6, in the September issue : “The modern Sunday School is a society of a professed religious character, but as it is not at all recognized in the scriptures as of divine authority, there are no rules given therein for its government, nor respecting the qualifications nor character of its members.”

Again, our Mississippi correspondent says: “I have been told you are opposed to Mission work. Is this so? or are you opposed only to Missionary Baptists’ method of conducting missionary work?” To this we reply, that we are most emphatically opposed to every form and grade of “Mission work,” not only of Missionary Baptists, but of every other religious sect, society, or fraternity, which is founded on the wisdom of men, and not sustained by the unerring word of God. We believe that God has ordained that the gospel of his grace shall be preached among all nations in the name, or by the authority of Jesus, and not in the name, character, nor authority of any humanly devised institution, however wise, learned, or powerful it may he. That modern missionary work, and the methods of conducting it, is or men, and not of God’s appointing, is too plain for any gentleman of even ordinary information or intelligence to attempt to controvert. “Mission work,” in the gospel sense, is the work of such as are chosen and sent by God’s authority to do a work distinctly specified in the word of the Lord. No man nor combination of men have the rightful authority to send men to attempt to do that which God has reserved to himself to do. The work of such men when sent by men is truly “mission work,” yet it is only the work of men, and not the power of God, nor the wisdom of God.

The Lord calls and sends forth his ministers to preach the blessed gospel of Christ in such a way and manner that each one can say in truth “I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man: for I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it but by revelation of Jesus Christ.”—Gal. 1:12. And, also, each one comes in his own ministerial experience into fellowship with the apostle of Christ, in saving: “I was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given me by the effectual working of his power.”—Eph. iii. Can those who are made and sent by men to preach say this in truth? We know they cannot.

To this humanly-devised Mission work we are honestly opposed, and to every means or method of conducting such work. It is a work of error, and those who are engaged in it are “gone in the way of Cain,” which was a way of his own choosing, and not of God’s appointing, nor of’ his acceptance. M.

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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.