1. There is no church but a body of immersed Believers who have been immersed by a duly appointed officer of a Scriptural Church.
2. There are no Scriptural ministers but those who have been duly authorized by a Scriptural church.
3. Since nothing is more evident than the fact that we teach more effectually by example than by precept - therefore, so long as we appropriate our pulpits for the official preaching of the gospel by those whom we consider duly baptized and ordained to the ministerial office, it is equally evident that it is improper for us to invite those teachers to occupy them when we know they are neither baptized nor ordained, and especially since they claim to be, and construe act on our part into a recognition of their claims, and thus confirm their followers in error.
4. Nothing can be more inconsistent than to admit those preachers into our pulpits who hold and teach doctrines, on account of which, we would exclude both from our pulpits and churches, any minister of our own denomination.
This, we claim, is one of the old landmarks of the Baptist Church.
5. That a body of immersed believers is the highest ecclesiastical authority in the world, and the only tribunal for the trial of cases of discipline; that the acts of a church are of superior binding force over those of an association, convention, council, or presbytery - and no association or convention can impose a moral obligation upon the constituent parts composing them.
6. That since each church of Christ is an independent body, no one church can expect any other to indorse its acts, only so far as they are in strict accordance with the laws of Christ. If she excludes a member unjustly, any other church can restore him, if she sees fit.
7. Whenever any church acts in violation of the directions of her only lawgiver, as found in the New Testament, she becomes rebellious - her acts null and void; and all other churches, and associations of churches and conventions, should withdraw their fellowship from her until she repents and rectifies her order, or they become the partakers of her sins.
8. That no association or convention, or council, is a "court of appeal," or has any authority ever [in] the churches, but is simply an advisory council; therefore it has no right to dictate to the churches, or to demand support for any project or scheme which it may originate, but may only recommend, advise, and urge to performance of duty in subservience to the great Christian voluntary principle.
9. When any church departs from the faith, or violates the order of the gospel, in the judgment of the association, it can and should withdraw its fellowship from her, and leave her to herself until she repents. This is no interference with her internal regulation.
10. Baptists are not Protestants. Since they never had any ecclesiastical connection with the Papacy, they are now, and have been the repudiators of the principles and practices of Papacy, whether found in Home or in the Protestant sects that came out of her.
11. We regard Protestantism, as well as the Reformation of 1827, as based on the assumption that the prophecies and declarations of Christ touching His church are false, thus making Christ an imposter, and the reformers and not Christ, the saviors and preservers of the church.
1. The unimmersed bodies of Christians are not churches, nor are any privileged companies of them the Church; hence all Pedobaptist denominations are only religious societies.
2. That baptism and an official relation to a church are prerequisite to a regular gospel ministry; hence, all ordinances administered by an unbaptized and unordained although immersed ministry, are null and void.
3. No church has a right to hear a case brought before it in violation of the law of Christ. The specification of the order to be observed, is the prohibition of any other order.
4. No member should submit to an arraignment or trial brought and conducted in violation of the laws of Christ. each member is individually responsible to Christ for the faithful observance of his laws.
5. Since right only, not might, is right, a constitutional minority is in all cases the Scriptural church.
6. An unconstitutional or disorderly majority cannot exclude a member of an acknowledged constitutional church.
7. No church should receive the letters of, or the members baptized by, a disorderly church. Nor should it admit to its communion the members of such a church, or in any way countenance or uphold its disorder; it should keep no company with it that it may be ashamed.
1. To be in all things consistent with our principles, whether we gain or lose numbers or popularity.
2. To fulfill our peculiar mission - which is to be the Witnesses of Christ's truth against every system of error, and those who originate or advocate them; and above all, by no act to countenance, recognize, aid or abet those who teach error, or to confirm those who are in error.
3. To employ all the energies of the denomination for the conversion of sinners and the up-building of Christ's Kingdom, through the most effectual means and agencies, such as Missionary efforts, Bible and Publication Societies, Theological Seminaries, Male and Female Colleges, Prayer-meetings, and Religious periodicals.
4. To occupy every village and city in the world with a suitably qualified, faithful, energetic and devoted minister.
5. To furnish a pastor to every church, and missionaries of the cross for every destitute region and land, at home and abroad, under the whole heaven, and to sustain them.
6. The commission to evangelize the nations having been given to the church through the Apostles, she can not delegate her authority or her responsibility to a body, as a Board, outside of her. The churches should select, send for and sustain Missionaries of the Cross.
To the steadfast and uncompromising advocacy of these principles and this policy, this paper is devoted.
[From J. R. Graves, editor, The Baptist, Memphis, January 11, 1868, p. 2. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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