Some Baptists are drifting from these orders because they are failing to teach believers to "observe all things whatsoever" Christ has commanded. Luke tells us that the first church "continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine."
The New Testament records that believers were accepted into church membership by baptism. . . . Scriptural baptism is the door into the visible Church of God. A believer coming from another denomination must be baptized to be a member of a Baptist church. The proper way to enter a building is through the door. Baptism symbolizes identification with a (the) faith. It is important that one believe in Christ; it is also important what ones believes about Christ.
Administering the Lord's Supper to non-Baptists is also a departure from the New Testament pattern. The Lord's Supper is a family affair and is to be partaken by those of the same faith and order and in good regular standing with the church. The New Testament substantiates this stand.
Being liberal may make one popular with man, but adherence to the scripture will make you popular with God. Let us as Baptists join with Jeremiah in seeking the old paths of doctrine, polity, and morality.
J. V. Bottoms, Sr. was the longtime pastor of the Green Street Missionary Baptist Church in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. He was the first person to graduate from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary once blacks were allowed to attend there. The above quote appeared in the American Baptist newspaper in 1978. This paper was the official organ of the General Association of Black Baptists in Kentucky. It is interesting to note that in the 1970's many of the black Baptist churches in Louisville were much more doctrinally sound than their white counterparts. - Document from Ben Stratton, Farmington, KY.
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