To the churches of which she is composed, Wisheth Grace, Mercy, and Peace.
DEAR BRETHREN, -- Having gone through the business that came before us, (as our minutes will inform you,) we deem it expedient in the first place to call your serious attention to the peculiar standing of the Union Association. And in the second place to the necessity of endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. First in respect to the standing of Union association, we say peculiar, not in reference to the articles of faith upon which she was constituted, for we believe they are virtually the same with the articles of faith of other Associations with whom we have corresponded. -- But our peculiarity is in respect to certain doctrines taught, and published by Daniel Parker in his "views on the two-seeds." And that we may not be misunderstood in respect to the doctrine taught by Daniel Parker, we shall instance in a few particulars as follows, to wit: first, that God did not create the non-elect. 2d. That the non-elect were not created in the image, & after the likeness of God. 3d. That the non-elect were not created in Adam, nor did not stand or fall in him. 4th. That God never created a set of beings that he suffered to be made the subject of his eternal wrath & indignation. 5th. That the Serpent or mystery of Iniquity is a self existent power or being, together with the whole train necessarily growing out of these false doctrines. Which erroneous doctrines are not only preached and inculcated by the said D. Parker, but are virtually at least propagated by the W. D. A. [Wabash District Association] by retaining him with a small minority of Lamott church in her fellowship, to the rejection of a large majority of said church, by whom the said Parker had been excluded from fellowship for those erronous [sic] doctrines, & for disorder, the said Parker being retained in the fellowship of the said W. D. A. without an investigation of the case of Lamott church; notwithstanding the messengers from the rejected part of said church did request it in the strongest terms, it was refused; one party retained in fellowship, and the other rejected. Against which doctrines and procedure, we feel conscience bound in protest, and to manifest a non-fellowship with all who propagate and teach them; and notwithstanding some men professing to be regular baptists, are going about preaching and inculcating these doctrines, we have no hesitation in saying those preachers have departed from the regular baptist faith and ought to be rejected by the regular baptists everywhere. And thus, dear brethren, it does appear that our sentiments respecting those doctrines, and the proceeding of the W. D. association peculiar to ourselves. Other associations appear to think the W. D. association pursued a proper course, and pursue the same course -- witness Salem and Lost river associations, when the difficulty presented itself. The Salem association refused an investigation of the matter notwithstanding she was twice invited to it by Union association, and dropped with Union and opened correspondence with the W. D. association. The Lost river association when the difficulty was presented to her by the Blue river association, refused an investigation of the matter, dropped her correspondence with Union association, and appointed Daniel Parker to preach on Sunday. --
Dear brethren these are new doctrines to us, and a new way of doing business, and we view ourselves as standing alone in this part of the world, in respect to those false doctrines, and the unjust and tyrannical course pursued by the W. D. association with Lamott church. We had heretofore hoped that the points of difficulty between the Union and W. D. association would be brought into a fair investigation, believing thereby the truth of the case would be brought to light, and that the deceived might be undeceived, and the wrongs be brought to light, and placed to the account of those to whom they properly belong. In the progress of the business, however, this hope has become almost extinct. There appears to be such an aversion in other associations to an investigation of the matter, that no arguments or considerations that have been offered, can induce them to investigate the case. -- Therefore, notwithstanding they have, or may drop fellowship with us from Dan to Beer-sheba, on that account, and in that way, it offers no conviction to our minds that they are right, or that we are wrong. But to the contrary, it is a strong evidence to us that they are wrong, and that they know it; therefore, they will not come to the light, lest their deeds should reproved.
But dear brethren, we feel that we have cause to mourn; to see brethren that once lived together in unity, now to view them divided, biting and devouring one together, leads us to think seriously on the caution given by the apostle Paul, to wit: "Take heed that ye be not consumed one of another," which leads us in the second place to say something respecting the unity of the spirit. As respects the unity of the spirit, we believe that God has by his word and spirit qualified men to become members of the visible church. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever. And they are united to Christ, the head of the church, and to one another in a spiritual union, by the spirit of Christ, which dwelleth in them, and that none can properly call God their father, burt [but] such as have been born of the spirit of God, and that no others have a right to claim a seat in the church of Christ, but such as have been born of the spirit, and legally baptized, upon a declaration of their faith in Christ. And inasmuch as there are many who teach other ways, denting the agency of the Holy Spirit in the act of regeneration, the utility of articles of faith and rules of decorum in the church, and many other things which differ from our abstract of principles already published to the world, therefore we feel to take a decided stand, and protest against all those things which are or may be written, preached, or otherwise taught or inculcated by men against our principles. And inasmuch as we feel assured that the time has come, for the sake of peace and harmony in the churches composing this association, for each church no longer to hesitate from feelings of sympathy, but to rise in the power and sense of duty and discipline against all intruders and contentious persons; and if they refuse to be reclaimed, put them away from among you. Mark them which cause divisions, and have no fellowship with them. A heretic after the first and second admonition, reject. And as we believe that waiting with, and indulging those who rise up in the church, or come preaching or teaching any other doctrine, is only calculated to confirm them in error, in consideration of which we think a speedy separation is best. And in any case where [we] stand on the constitution, and exclude all who will not be reclaimed. O brethren, these are troublous times. Read much, pray much, be sober, be watchful, be humble, deal justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God of peace will be with you, and make you temples of peace; and where he comes, you shall be like him, and be ever with him, world without end. -- Amen
[Taken from Union Baptist Association, Minutes, (IN) 1832, pp. 3-4. The title and paragraph markings are added; [words] in brackets are added by the edior. The document is from Franklin College (IN) Library Archives. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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