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Regeneration--Chapter 3 PDF Print E-mail
Written by W.H. Crouse   


Much has been said about the London Confession of faith. It was written by a number of English Baptist ministers in 1689. Their manner of expression was quite different from ours. In so long a time language has naturally undergone some change. Some sections, standing alone, seem ambiguous. These sections, separated from the remainder of the Confession, and without explanation, have never been accepted by American Primitive Baptists as clearly and correctly expressing their faith. Taken as a whole, and properly explained, our ministry has most universally accepted it as a true expression of our faith. That there might be no misunderstanding in reference to its teaching the meeting at Fulton, Ky., in 1900, added explanatory footnotes.
To illustrate let us notice a few sections.

Chapter 2, Section 1: “The Lord our God is but one only living and true God, * * *  invisible, without body, parts, or passions, who only hath immortality, &c.”  To this the following footnote was added:  “We do not understand by the word passion that he is not a God of love, or that he is not angry with sin, but to teach that God is not a fallible, mutable being as man.”

Chapter 3, Section 1: “God hath decreed in himself from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things whatsoever come to pass; yet so as, &c.”

Standing alone this would be most universally rejected by our people; but interpreted in the light of the entire Confession it is accepted. To this a footnote was added making it clear that we do not accept the doctrine of the “absolute predestination of all things” and we are cited to Chap. 5, Sec. 4, and Chap. 6, last part of Sec. 1.

Chapter 7, Section 2: “Moreover, man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a Covenant of Grace, wherein he freely offereth unto sinners life and  salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him that they might be saved, &c.”

Primitive Baptists would not accept this section without explanation. Therefore a footnote was added setting forth our interpretation and calling attention to seven other sections where their teaching clearly shows that they held the same view we do on this point.

Thus the reader will see that Primitive Baptists accept the London Confession, ONLY when taken as a whole, and giving to each section that interpretation which the complete Confession demands. It seems strange to us that they would say, “wherein he freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation”; but the remainder of the Confession clearly shows that those words did not mean to them what they would, without explanation, mean to us. The most of our American associations and churches in drafting their articles of faith have entirely eliminated this ambiguity and set forth their faith in language so clear that all may easily understand.

Concerning this London Confession, one of our Georgia publications, under date of December 1923, editorially says:

 “What is a Primitive Baptist? A Primitive Baptist is an Original Baptist. The Original Baptists published the London Confession of Faith. * * * No one can possibly be a Primitive Baptist who does not believe the London Confession, for Primitive means Original, and the London Confession was written by the Original Baptists. The London Confession does not limit God, but Modern Baptists do. * * * We Original Baptists, and God knows that we are few in number, attribute all powers to God, and declare that he can work either with or without means, and that if He works through means, there is absolutely no power in the means- all the power is in God. And the Scriptures, as well as the London Confession, bear out our contention on this point.”

The point the Editor (Elder Screws) had under consideration was as to the use of the ministry and the preached word in the regeneration of sinners. He affirmed that God used them as a means in this work-that this was the belief of Original Baptists-and that the London Confession and the Scriptures sustain him in his contention. And he affirms that no one can possibly be a Primitive Baptist that does not believe that God uses the preached word as a means in the regeneration of sinners. Since we deny that God regenerates sinners through the means of the ministry and the preached word we are no longer to be considered as Primitive but as “Modern” Baptists. Statesboro, Metter, Graymont-Surnmit, and Tifton churches do NOT believe in this means doctrine, therefore, according to this Editor, they should be styled “Modern” Baptist churches. I have before me a little pamphlet entitled Minutes of The Lower Canoochee Association of Primitive Baptists. Unless this association is converted to the means doctrine I suppose they must change their minutes to read, “The Lower Canoochee Association of Modern Baptists.” And all our ministers, present and past, whom we considered true Primitives, we are now informed, were only “Modern” Baptists, all because they did not believe that God uses such means in the regeneration of sinners. Let me state clearly his line of reasoning:

1. To be a Primitive Baptist one must believe the  London Confession, which confession teaches that God uses the gospel as a means in the regeneration of sinners.
2. We repudiate that Confession in that we deny that God uses the gospel as a means in the regeneration of sinners.
3. Therefore, we are not Primitive Baptists.

It is a rule in logic that if the first and second propositions of a syllogism be true the conclusion cannot be overthrown. Number three is the conclusion. It contains the matter proved-we are NOT Primitive Baptists. To escape that conclusion we MUST prove at least one of the premises to be false. The second we readily acknowledge to be true. We must therefore prove the first false or admit that we are not Primitive Baptists-we must either prove that one does not have to believe the London Confession to be a Primitive, or that the Confession does NOT teach that God uses the gospel as a means in regeneration.
But let us apply the syllogism to the Editor:

1. To be a Primitive Baptist one must believe the London Confession, which confession teaches that God does NOT use the gospel as a means in regeneration.
2. The Editor repudiates that Confession in that he teaches that God does use the gospel as a means in regeneration.
3. Therefore, the Editor is NOT a Primitive Baptist.

According to his own statements and course of logic, if we prove that the Confession does NOT teach the use of the gospel as a means in regeneration, HE is not a Primitive Baptist. This is not our reasoning, but his. A Doctor ought to be willing to take his own medicine.
Now, back to the Confession.

I have already shown what Throgmorton said about that Confession. He insisted that he, as a Missionary Baptist minister, was standing on that confession, so far as it relates to the use of the gospel in the regeneration of sinners. And you remember that HE charged Elder Daily with denying that faith. Said he, “In denying my proposition, Brother Daily is out of harmony with the Old Baptist Faith! If he shows that I am wrong in this discussion, he will show that the Old London Confession of 1689, of which his people have boasted so much, is wrong. If he shows that my proposition is wrong, good-bye to the doctrine of the old Baptists. I am here to defend the Old Baptist Faith, as to what is involved in this discussion. Brother Daily is here to oppose it, and to overthrow it, if he can! Will you ‘Old School’ Baptists follow him in this?”

So you see when these “Original”(?) Baptists charge US with having repudiated the London Confession, and they assure the brethren that in contending for gospel regeneration they are standing on the London Confession and defending Old Baptist Faith, they are only joining hands with Dr. Throgmorton, the Missionary; and they are publishing to the world that Elder John R. Daily and those who stood with him were traitors to Old Baptist Faith and that Throgmorton was faithful and true! The idea of Elder John R. Daily trying to repudiate and destroy Old Baptist Faith, and W. P. Throgmorton weeping and wailing over it, and declaring that Old Baptist faith SHALL NOT be destroyed!

And after thousands of prayers have gone up in thanksgiving to God for such a man as Elder Daily to so ably present and defend our faith, as he did in that discussion; and after thousands of volumes of that published discussion have been circulated in the interests of our cause, these self-styled “Original” Baptists fly to the defense of Throgmorton and declare to the world that he was right and Daily was wrong! And then they ask us to be quiet, that there is no principle involved, that there is no need for a fight, and will be none!

I cannot think they believed this. Surely they knew their attack upon our faith would meet determined opposition. They KNEW some of us well enough to know there would be a fight. May it not be that they seek to so mould sentiment and becloud the issue that we, who wage the fight, will lose out with the so-called “progressives” and they will hold them with them.

Personalities and other questions are injected to deceive and prejudice. In this way it is hoped to lead good brethren to forsake the established faith and enlist under a banner which has for its motto-“God regenerates sinners through the preached gospel.”

As we have said before, if the London Confession does teach that God uses the preached word in regenerating sinners, that is NOT the faith of Primitive Baptists. Primitive Baptists have the right to interpret that Confession for themselves when they adopt it, and they have NEVER so interpreted it.

The discussions to which we have referred and from which we have quoted reach back to almost 1832-the time of the division with the New Schools.

These debates were largely attended, great interest was manifested in them, they were published and widely circulated, and the ministers who represented us were universally endorsed as sound in faith and as correctly representing our faith in those discussions. Not a word did we ever hear from Primitive Baptists complaining that THESE MEN were trampling under foot the London Confession and repudiating the accepted faith of our people. NO! Our brethren knew what their faith was, and they were proud that we had men who could so ably present and defend it.
But let’s see what the London Confession does teach:

Chapter X, Section 1. “Those whom God hath  predestinated unto life he is pleased in his appointed and accepted time effectually to call by his Word and Spirit out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace of salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds, spiritually and savingly, to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made most willing by his grace.”  Undoubtedly they were here speaking of regeneration or the impartation of eternal life to dead sinners. This is the effectual call, as they say in Section II. This work is done they say conjointly by the Word and Spirit.

They positively mention no other way in which this work is done. So, if by the “Word” they mean the gospel, then where do our brethren who hold that interpretation and harp on the London Confession, find in this section any ground for saying that sinners are ever regenerated without the gospel? Here again they bind themselves to the position that eternal salvation is limited to the scope of the gospel. And it is another rule in logic that whatever proves too much for one’s proposition proves nothing. They must do one of three things, viz.,

1. They must renounce this section of the Confession altogether, or
2. They must deny that the “Word” means the gospel, or
3. They must admit that none can be regenerated where the gospel has not gone.

But this was NOT the meaning of this Section. In the Fulton Meeting, 1900, this footnote was added: “We do not understand that sinners are effectually called by the written word IN ANY SENSE out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature to grace and salvation but by Christ, the Word of God. The quickening and renewing of the holy Spirit prepares the sinner to answer the gospel call, as seen in Section 2 (2 Tim. 1: 9; 1 John 4:6).”

That footnote was added by fifty-one ministers, representing three hundred and thirty-five churches, aggregating fourteen thousand five hundred members in direct correspondence with over one hundred thousand Primitive Baptists. (See Confession, page 15.) And Elder T. E. Sikes of Georgia was there and agreed to it. (See signature on page 17.)

We all KNOW that they meant by the “Word” the Word which John says was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14)-the Word which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23). “And this is the word,” says Peter, “which by the gospel is preached unto you.” This Word is NOT the gospel. It is the Word which the gospel declares unto us-even the Lord Jesus Christ. By this Word (Christ) ye are born again.

But concerning these footnotes Elder Screws, who claims to be an “original”, says: “In 1900 the Fulton Convention, composed of representatives from nearly all parts of our country, adopted this confession, with some explanatory footnotes, which footnotes are more confusing than explanatory.”

What a reflection on these “representatives from nearly all parts of our country!” In that number were included many of the ablest ministers in the United States. What a pity the Editor was not there to set ALL of them straight! 

They said in their footnote as quoted above that the effectual call of sinners out of a state of sin and death is NOT IN ANY SENSE by the WRITTEN word but by CHRIST, the Word of God. Is that “confusing” to a Primitive Baptist? It seems to us that they explained themselves pretty clearly. Their explanation may be “confusing” to Dr. Throgmorton and “Original” Baptists, but to the great body of Primitives throughout the United States it is entirely satisfactory.

If the Editor could prove (which he can not) that our representatives erred in their explanation and that the London brethren did mean to teach that sinners are effectually called out of a state of death by the written word he will have established fellowship with London, but NOT with the Primitives of the United States whom our ministers at Fulton represented, nor yet with Christ and the inspired Apostles upon whose teaching our faith is founded.

These representatives from nearly all parts of our country, assembled at Fulton, emphatically denied that God EVER uses the preached word in the work of regeneration; and we are told that such denial is “confusing”!

Let us note other parts of the Confession:

Chapter X, Section 2  “This effectual call is of  God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature co-working with his special grace; the creature being wholly passive therein, being dead in sins and trespasses, UNTIL, being quickened and renewed by the holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, and that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead.” That doesn’t sound much like they thought sinners were regenerated through the ministry and the preached word.

We call special attention to this section. Here is the “effectual” call; the call from death to life. This is regeneration. FIRST there must be life imparted by no less power than that which raised Christ from the dead; then there is the outflow, the effect, the  “answer” as they call it, and the laying hold upon or embracing of the grace or promises of God. And in this outflow is to be found all the Christian graces, faith, love and everything else. The preached word may and often does manifest, increase and develop these graces, but the preached word has no more to do in this work of quickening the dead than it had with raising Christ from the grave. The ONLY agency or means mentioned in this work is the Holy Spirit; and as to any avenue or channel or medium through which or by which the Holy Spirit flowed into the soul to accomplish this Work they are as silent as the grave. Now note that in the fourth section, which we will quote, they turn to the gospel call-the call by the ministry of the word, and note carefully how clearly they distinguish between the effectual call and the gospel call-how separate and distinct they are from each other, and that the gospel call is wholly ineffective UNTIL the sinner is made alive; and to be made alive is to be regenerated.

Section 4: “Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit; yet, not being effectually drawn by the Father, they neither will nor can truly come to Christ.”

To this section our representatives at Fulton added the following footnote:  “We understand for man to be spiritually profited by the gospel he must have been born of God and made partaker of his divine nature, and by the words ‘common operations of the Spirit’ is understood as teaching that the gospel has an enlightening and moral influence upon all rational men.”

We would not need to tell our readers that this is Primitive Baptist doctrine. They KNOW it as soon as they read it. This is NOT confusing to our people; but it is confusing to our people for recognized leaders to tell them that God works with and without means; that ordinarily he regenerates through means-by, with or through the ministry and the preached word; that ALL Primitives so believe; that the London Confession so taught; and that no person can be a Primitive unless he thus believes.

And it is very confusing to our people for this means doctrine to be published and taught among us by recognized leaders and but few of our watchmen make any protest, and those who do protest are accused of being moved by jealousy, prejudice, envy and malice; and those who teach and are
responsible for this heresy are held in the fullest fellowship and admitted to the highest counsels of our people. It is useless to cry ‘‘peace, peace” among Primitive Baptists while such seed is being sown among us and such noxious weeds being nourished with the tenderest care. The holy wrath of an outraged people may lie dormant for a while but it will eventually break forth and the multiplicity of the seed sown and the long continued growth of this error among us will only increase the desolation when the day of judgment shall come. Our people WILL NOT accept this doctrine. They WILL NOT fellowship nor condone it. Those who think they will are laboring under a delusion. False issues may be raised; prejudices may be aroused; motives may be impugned; ministers browbeaten, discouraged and destroyed; but the tide will not flow out forever; the returning tide will soon sweep our shores free of this polluting doctrine which has ever been so destructive to our denomination and it will be left neither root nor branch.

Though somewhat of a repetition, this chapter would not be complete did we fail to notice that often repeated section upon which our means brethren so confidently rely to prove their contention.

Chapter XIV, Section 1: “The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the word.”

We will examine this section carefully presently, but first let us notice the position of our means brethren. If this section teaches what they would have us believe that regeneration is by the ministry of the word, then we draw the following conclusion, and challenge successful contradiction:

First:  Faith and belief MUST precede regeneration.

Whatever is meant by the expression “to the saving of their souls” follows and is dependent upon faith and belief.

An unregenerate sinner is dead in sins-destitute of eternal life. He is in the flesh-carnal- sold under sin. In this condition he must exercise faith and belief, if faith and belief precede regeneration. But the Bible teaches us that faith is a fruit of the Spirit and that those who have the Spirit are children of God. It also teaches us that he that behieveth IS born of God, and that they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Suppose we deduct a few propositions:

1. Unregenerate sinners cannot please God. (Rom. 8:8.)
2  To have faith and believe is pleasing to God.
3. Therefore, unregenerate sinners cannot have faith or believe.

1. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22.)
2. Unregenerate sinners do not have the Spirit.
3. Therefore unregenerate sinners cannot have faith.

1. All who believe are born of God. (1 John 5:1.)
2. Unregenerate sinners are not born of God.
3. Therefore unregenerate sinners cannot believe.

1. Faith proceeds from a pure heart.
2. Unregenerate sinners do not have a pure heart.
3. Therefore, unregenerate sinners cannot have faith.

Suppose we make these to fit the position of our “Original” Baptists. They will then read thus:

1. Unregenerate sinners cannot please God.
2. Unregenerate sinners have faith and belief.
3. Therefore, faith and belief are not pleasing to God.

1. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit.
2. Unregenerate sinners have faith.
3. Therefore, unregenerate sinners have the Spirit.

1. All who believe are born of God.
2. Unregenerate sinners believe.
3. Therefore, unregenerate sinners are born of God.

1. Faith proceeds from a pure heart.
2. Unregenerate sinners have faith.
3. Therefore, unregenerate sinners have a pure heart.

To Primitive Baptists this is absurd. But this is the position to which the means doctrine ALWAYS leads us. And have we not heard great emphasis laid upon faith since this means question was started among us. Faith or belief in Christ has been made the turning point between eternal life and everlasting death. This may be questioned, but we have the proof.

If regeneration precedes faith and belief, then they are in no sense a condition unto regeneration.

If regeneration precedes faith and belief (as Primitives have ever believed), then it can not be by or through faith or belief, for it would be impossible for it to be by something that did not already exist.

If regeneration precedes faith and belief, then it is wrong to say that all who do not have faith or belief are children of wrath and subject to everlasting death. And why should any of our ministers get “sick and tired” of hearing some of us say that there will be thousands in heaven who never had gospel faith?

Second: If in this section they had under consideration the work of regeneration, they then plainly teach that only in exceptional cases are any saved who do not hear the gospel.  We call the reader’s attention to this expression: “And is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the word.” And remember that we are told we MUST believe this confession; otherwise we become  “modern” Baptists.

Webster’s International Dictionary defines ‘ordinarily’ as follows: “According to established rules or settled method; as a rule; commonly; usually; in most cases."

If our London brethren, in this paragraph of their faith, had under consideration the subject of regeneration, they taught beyond the shadow of a doubt that the established rule or settled method by which God does this work is through the preached word. He does this not in exceptional cases, not in “some cases,” but commonly, usually-In MOST CASES. They do teach that God sometimes varies from this rule, but when He does, it is the exception and NOT the rule. And putting this interpretation upon their language, if we are to be in line with them, and thus “original Baptists, we MUST believe that usually and in MOST cases regeneration is through the instrumentality of the preached word. We must either deny that they had regeneration under consideration, or believe that regeneration IN MOST CASES is through the preached word, or discard their faith altogether and cease to be “original” Baptists.

The raising of Lazarus has been cited as an illustration of regeneration without means, and the raising of Dorcas by the Apostle Peter as illustrating regeneration through means. But, according to the  above interpretation we would have to understand that Dorcas illustrates the rule, the common and usual method-MOST cases; while Lazarus only illustrates the exceptional cases.
This interpretation proves entirely too much for Primitive Baptists. There is altogether too much means in it. And those who seek to introduce the means question among us usually start off by leaving the impression that they believe that God in exceptional cases regenerates through the preached word. This is about all Primitive Baptists would be expected to digest at first. When this has been digested and assimilated they increase the dose. But unless they give up their interpretation of this Confession or repudiate it altogether they must insist that very few are ever regenerated except through the ministry of the word.

Unto this day seven-tenths of the human family have never heard the gospel. If the above interpretation be true, regeneration has been confined almost exclusively to the three-tenths. Regeneration among the heathen has rarely ever been known! And the same would be true of the deaf and blind, the idiots and infants! Only a few of these have any hope of heaven-the MOST of them are lost! Thus we would confine eternal salvation almost exclusively to the scope of the gospel. And it doesn’t require a Solomon to see how this position leads to the denial of election and atonement as believed by our people.

Suppose those who insist upon this interpretation of the London Confession, and insist that it is the teaching of God’s word, cite us to cases of regeneration without the preached word. Note carefully their teaching:

Saul of Tarsus--regenerated without the gospel.

Day of Pentecost-three thousand regenerated, and ALL through the preached word.
Philippian Jailer-through the ministry of the word.

The Church at Corinth-”I have begotten you through the gospel.” They insist this is the new birth-regeneration. If so, ALL of these were regenerated according to the established “method.”
Eph. 5:25-26. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it, with the washing of water by the word.” We are told this is regeneration, and that the word here is the gospel. 2 Thes. 2:13.14. “But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath, from the beginning, chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth; whereunto he called you by our gospel.”

We are told that THIS scripture teaches that the “election of sinners took place from the beginning or before the foundation of the world,’’ (sound and scriptural) BUT that the calling or regeneration is “by our gospel.”

James 1: 18. “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.”

This, we are told, is regeneration, and the “word of truth” is the gospel. And the writer feeling humiliated and incensed that any of us should see differently adds, “Let him be put to confusion, who limits God in his operation.”

Let ALL Primitive Baptists, past or present, who deny that God employs the preached word in the regeneration of sinners BE PUT TO CONFUSION!

Acts 26: 17-18. “Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive the forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

We are told that this darkness and blindness was the darkness and blindness of unregeneracy and that they were to be regenerated through Paul’s preaching.

I Peter 1: 23-25. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of  incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever. And this is the word, which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

Here is the explanation given of this text: “The word in the text means the written word. Being born again, means being born of God. It is the second birth.”

“In some cases” has become a favorite expression with those who teach among us that sinners ARE regenerated through the preached word. But, if the above interpretations are correct, pray tell us where these “some cases” are.

“We Original Baptists, and God knows that we are few in number, attribute all powers to God, and declare that he can work either with or without means, and that if he works through means, there is absolutely no power in the means-all the power is in God.” But, in view of the above interpretation of scripture, we insist that we be shown a few more cases where God works WITHOUT means.

We are told that the preached word is used as a means in regeneration and yet that there is “no power in the means.” But Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it (the gospel) is the POWER OF GOD unto salvation.” If this was eternal salvation or regeneration, and the gospel is the means used to that end, pray tell us how we can say there is no power in the means. If the position of our means brethren is true, we insist there is no escape from the conclusion here reached.

But in this section they do NOT have under consideration the subject of regeneration.

They use the term salvation, but not regeneration.  The term salvation is used in the Confession (as in the Bible) with various meanings. They speak of “saving repentance,” and of “repentance unto salvation.” If by salvation here they mean regeneration, then they teach that repentance precedes regeneration and we would have a dead sinner repenting of sin while still carnal, in the flesh, and in love with sin.

It is by faith in Christ and in the promises of the gospel that we experience and enjoy the wonderful salvation God has treasured up for us. But this is an entirely different thing from eternal life imparted in regeneration. This “grace” of faith, by which we believe, they say is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the word, that is, it is brought forth; set in motion; prepared for service. To illustrate: We have a peach tree in our back yard. It bears fruit. That fruit is primarily the result of the peach life in the tree. But the fruit is developed, perfected and made abundant by cultivation, fertilization and every care.

It is NOT true that the abundance of fruit we have in our pantry from that tree is as much the gift of the man who gave me the tree as was the tree itself. We could not have had the fruit without the tree, but we could have had the tree and no fruit. The fruit is largely the result of my own care and labor. Just so with faith and belief.

So much for the London Confession. We stand upon that Confession as understood and interpreted by the Primitive Baptists of the United States. To do otherwise is to read ourselves out of the denomination. Whatever their recognized faith is, we must be loyal to that faith or cease to be Primitive Baptists.

There has never yet been a minister among us so great that he could revolutionize our denomination and turn them away from their recognizedfaith. There are none big enough today. There have been those who departed from that faith and confused many and caused division, but the denomination purged itself and pursued its course in the old time faith of the fathers.
There are many great and good ministers among the Regulars and Missionaries. We grant they are honest and sincere. We have no disposition, if we could, to deprive them of freedom of thought and expression. This is a free country where every man is vouchsafed liberty of conscience and expression in religion. God grant it may ever be so.

But we do challenge the right of any man among us to teach doctrine contrary to our established faith and to slander the dead and the living by charging them with ignorance and attempting to bind upon them the name and odium of “modern” Baptists. We are not surprised when men of other denominations sometimes pursue this course toward us, but of men whom our people have ordained and set apart to teach and defend our faith we have a right to expect better things.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 October 2006 )
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