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     Editor's note: Early Baptist Associations often received questions (queries) from churches or pastors regarding issues of doctrine or polity of which they were unsure. In its manner of transacting business it stated: 9th "All queries regularly sent by the churches, should be answered if possible." This Association, as did most others, stated in its Constiution: "We claim no higher power than an advisory council."
     When the query was brought before the pastors of churches in the association, they discussed it and gave an opinion, or in some cases deferred until the following year's meeting, or occasionally assigned one of the pastors to write a Circular Letter on the subject, which was distributed to all the churches of the association.
     This list of queries is found in John R. Logan's book: Sketches, Historical and Biographical, of the Broad River and King's Mountain Baptist Associations, (NC) From 1800 to 1882, published in 1887. The book is available from Google Books here. — Scanned by Jim Duvall.

BROAD RIVER (NC) BAPTIST ASSOCIATION QUERIES.
[A history written from the annual Minutes.]


[p. 12]
QUERIES SENT UP FROM THE CHURCHES, 1801

      The following queries engaged the attention of the body at this session:

1. Can we hold a member in fellowship who has been convicted by the civil laws, and received corporal punishment upon his denying the charge?
Answer: We cannot.

2. Does the word of God give any toleration to men to put away their wives for any cause and marry others?
(This query was postponed until the next session of the body.)


[p. 18]
1802
      The postponed query of last session was again postponed, and Elder Joseph Camp was appointed to discuss the whole matter in a Circular Letter to the churches.
[p. 19]
QUERIES, 1803.

      The time of this session was partly taken up with the discussion of and answering of the following queries:

1. "What shall be done with a member who refuses to fellowship his church for holding in fellowship a sister church for acting discretionally, contrary to his views in receiving members?"
Answer — "We advise the church to use her vested rights agreeably to our constitution."

2. "Does the word of God tolerate a brother to marry his wife's sister's daughter after the decease of his wife?"
Answer — "The word of God does not forbid it, but churches are advised for prudential reasons not to encourage the practice."


[p. 20]
QUERIES, 1804.

      The following queries were acted on, viz:

1. "Will the Scriptures tolerate us to hold a member in fellowship who communes with Pe-dobaptists?"
"Answer. No."

2. "Is it consistent with good order for a church to refuse dismission to a member (minister) who lives within the bounds of another church of the same faith and order?"
Answer. "We do not think it is."


[p. 21]
QUERIES, 1805.

      The following queries which had been sent up by the churches were then taken up, discussed, and answered, viz:

1. "What are the official duties of a deacon in their fullest extent?"
Answer — "We think a deacon's official duties apply to every thing in the shape of discipline in the house of God, except the administration of ordinances."

2. "What measures should be taken with a member who has been ordained a deacon, and afterwards appears unfit to fill the place according to the Scriptural requirements?"
Answer — "We think a deacon may forfeit his office to serve in the house of God by a disorderly walk."

3. "Does the Association hold with polygamy?"
Answer — "No."


[p. 22]
4. "If a minister has been guilty of heinous and scandalous crimes and been expelled from the church, is it right to restore such an one to the ministry without the approbation of the sister churches in the Association?"
Answer — "No."
QUERIES, 1806.

      The following queries occupied the attention of the body at this session:

1. "Is it expedient to retain in fellowship persons of color, though free, who shall intermarry with the whites?"
Answer — "No."

2. "What are the ordinances of a Gospel church that deacons are prohibited from acting in?"
The query was not answered by the body, but was adopted as a subject for the next year's Circular Letter to the churches.


[p. 23]
QUERIES, 1807.

      The following query came up for consideration, viz:

"Shall a church, aggrieved with a sister church, take her under dealing and be justified by the Word of God?"
Answer — "We believe that if one church grieves another, that the aggrieved might very properly labor with the aggressor, agreeably to the 18th chapter of Matthew."

[p. 24]
QUERIES, 1808.

     It is now wanted to know,

1st. "If a church has a right to deal with a sister church, agreeably to 18th Matthew, — in taking the third step, who must she tell it to?"
The Association answers, by directing them to tell it to the Association.

2. "How shall we receive members into our churches agreeably to order from a church that has been dissolved or become extinct?"
Answer — "By convening a presbytery from other churches, who may grant to such members letters of dismission."

3. "What shall be done with members who move out of the bounds of a church without obtaining letters of dismission from the same?"
Answer — "We think that members who absent themselves willingly by removal or otherwise, should be excommunicated."

4. "How far In an agreement in religious sentiments essential to Christian union and communion?"
Answer — "We agree to make this a subject for the next Circular Letter."


[p. 25]
QUERIES, 1809.

     At this session there were more queries sent up than usual, which seems to have occupied the principal time of the Association.

1. "What shall be required of a member or members who have been excommunicated from a church which has become extinct?"
Answer. "Make application to the nearest church for restoration."

2. "Is it agreeable to Scripture that there should be any more Elders in a Church besides the pastor or minister and deacon?"
This query was postponed until the next session of the Association and the churches advised to give the matter the strictest attention in order that a Scriptural answer may he arrived at.

3. "Is it agreeable to Scripture that marriages should be solemnized on the Sabbath day?"
Answer — "We do not find that it is directly forbidden in the word of God, yet we think the practice should not be encouraged, inasmuch as it is sometimes attended with bad consequences."

4. "What is proper to be done when a woman relates an experience of grace satisfactory to the church, and wishes to comply with her baptismal duties, but her husband refuses his assent?"
Answer. "We recommend that such person wait patiently, hoping that God in His providence may make a way for her to come into the church by the husband's consent."


[p. 26]
QUERIES, 1810.

     The postponed query from last session to this:

1. "Is it agreeable to Scripture that there should be any more Elders in a church besides the pastor or minister and deacons?"
Answer. "That there are but two officers — ministers or elders and deacons."

2. "Is the laying on of hands on lay members an ordinance of the Gospel? Secondly, if it is, who are the proper administrators of the ordinance?"
Answer. "To the first part 'yes;' to the second, the minister of the Gospel only."

QUERIES, 1811.

     The churches sent up the following queries, which occupied nearly all the time ot the session, viz:

1. "By what authority do Christian churches, without a Gospel minister, sit in council to determine or judge of the fitness of subjects for baptism; or to whom does that prerogative properly belong?"
This query was postponed until the next session.

2. "Is it agreeable to Gospel order for ministers of the Gospel to accept of secular offices, such as justices of the peace, etc?"
Answer. "We do not find any precedent in the Scriptures to justify it. We therefore recommend that ministers decline the exercise of such appointments."

3. "What shall members do who petition a church for membership, when the church to which they formerly belonged has been disbanded or become extinct?"


[p. 27]
Answer. "Such members should first apply to a presbytery for letters of dismission, before asking for admission into any other church."

4. "Is it right to hold members in fellowship who belong to and frequent Masonic Lodges?" Answer. "No."


[p. 28]
QUERIES.

"Is it right for any member of our union of churches to solemnize the rites of matrimony between parties when neither of them have a living husband or wife?"
Answer. "No."

QUERIES, 1812.

     A petition was sent up asking for a reconsideration of the queries of 1807-'08, and also of the answer, "agreeable to the 18th Matthew," and compare them with the articles or rules of the Association where it reads: "We claim no higher power


[p. 29]
than an advisory council." The body decided by a vote that the former answer shall stand, and that the Association meant nothing more than to withdraw from a disorderly church.

     The following queries were sent up from the churches and answered by the body, as follows:

1. "What is a Church?"
Answer. "We believe a Gospel church consists of an indefinite number of saints joined together by consent, yet we think not complete without a minister."

2. "How shall a minister be silenced in his ministerial office by the church?"
Answer. "By laying him under the censure of the church, and then call in ministerial helps to aid in deposing him."

3. "Is it right, according to the Word of God, to constitute churches where there is no minister belonging to the members proposed to be constituted?" Answer. "Yes."


[p. 30]
QUERIES, 1813.

which had been sent up for solution from the churches, were taken up, viz:
1. "Do the Scriptures mention the gifts of doctrine and exhortation as separate?"
Answer. "Yes."

2. "When God, in His wisdom, has thought proper to bestow these gifts separately, ought they not to be separately used in the Church?"
Answer. "Yes."

3. "Are those who profess the gift of exhortation only, qualified to exercise the ministerial function fully?"
Answer. "No."

4. "Is it good order for a church to call a minister, or supply from another church, when they have an ordained minister in said church?"
Answer. "It may be order, but great caution ought to be used in the matter."


[p. 32]
QUERIES, 1815.

     The following query was sent up for solution, viz:
"Is it agreeable to good order for a deacon to be dismissed from office at his own request? and if so, by what authority?"

[p. 33]
Answer. "We think a church should be exceedingly cautious how she dismisses a deacon from office, for we do not think it good order to dismiss one at his own request, unless the church shall think he does not fill the office properly, and in case of such dismission, the church acting in the case is the proper authority."

[p. 33]
QUERIES, 1816.

     The following queries had been sent up from the churches, viz:
1. "Is it good order for a church to dissolve herself, when said church has a pastor with her? If not how shall she proceed agreeably to Scripture?"
Answer. "Although we cannot cite such to any Scripture, we advise them to apply to the churches for helps and thereby form a presbytery, to dismiss in order, both minister and members."

2. "Would it be good order to commune with a person after receiving such into our union upon a profession of our faith previous to their being baptized?"
Answer. "No."

3. "Is it agreeable to the gospel for Baptists to call themselves 'Calvinists,' and the doctrines of grace 'Calvinism?"
Answer. "We believe John Calvin preached more sound doctrine than any other noted reformer, yet we think it is contrary to the gospel, for Baptists to call themselves and the doctrines of grace by such titles."


[p. 35]
QUERIES, 1817.
The church at Union "wishes to know whether the Association approbate their conduct in receiving members from a society of Methodists who have been baptized by immersion and account the same valid?"
Answer. "We think that to receive members from other societies as therein described does not comport with the simplicity of the gospel." "But as the subject is delicate and needs considerable investigation, we agree to make it the subject of our next Circular Letter."

[p. 36]
QUERIES, 1818.
     The following queries came up for discussion and to be answered:
1. "What shall a church do with a member that has been excommunicated for the sin of adultery, said person taking a woman into the house with him and continuing in that sinful way, as the church has reasons for believing, for perhaps twenty years, until the death of his wife: he then comes forward to the church in a few months afterward and states he has married the woman and repented of his sin, and desires again to unite himself with the church?"
Answer. "If the church can believe such a person a Christian, and he has made such acknowledgments as the Scriptures require, then receive him; if not, reject him."

2. "A number of persons, say sixteen, were dismissed twelve years past to form a new church, and have not yet been constituted, and nearly all who were first dismissed are removed away — Is it right for any adjacent church to dismiss members to join them for any purpose?"
Answer — "No."


[p. 37]
QUERIES, 1819.
     The following queries were sent from the churches to be answered:
1. "Is it agreeable to Scripture for churches to ordain their own deacons?"
Answer. ''We think it is, provided they have two or more ordained ministers."

2. "Is it consistent with the Gospel for deacons to assist in the ordination of deacons?"
Answer. "We think it is not inconsistent that they should assist the ministers in that work."


[p. 38]
Queries.
QUERIES, 1820.
     The following queries were taken tip for consideration:
1. "How shall a church proceed with a member in slavery whose companion was taken away out of the country and sold, and the member left has married another?"
Answer. "Agreeably to the Scriptures, the church could not hold such an one in fellowship."

2. "Is it agreeable to Scripture to receive a woman into fellowship that was married to an emigrant from Europe who, after a few months, separated from her and embarked for his native country, she remaining for several years destitute, married to another man ?"
Answer. "No."


[p. 39]
1821 - No Queries

QUERY, 1822.
     The following query came before the Association from Green River church:
"Would It Hot be most agreeable with gospel order to commune or take the Lord's supper at the Associational meetings?"
Answer. "We think it best not to adopt such a rule at this time."

[p. 40]
Queries, 1825 [sic - 1823].
      — The following queries came up for discussion:
1. "What shall be done with a minister who has been excommunicated from the privileges of the church, and refuses to give up his credentials to a member of that church when required in the name and by the authority of said church to do so?"
Answer. "After the excommunlcation of a minister from a church that church has no power over him, and therefore has no authority whatever to demand his credentials. But if the excommunicated minister should under the sanction of his papers, impose upon the community, he should be reported to the Association, which body would of course make proper mention of him in its minutes."

2. "Ought a church of Christ to hold a member in fellowship who believes in what is generally called witchcraft, or practices any so-called charm, or other idle means to remove what they call witch craft?"
Answer. "No."

      Remarks. — It seems to have been a very common practice of our ancient brethren of the different churches composing the Broad River Association, to test the ability and skill of the body, then considered the assembled wisdom of the churches, and acting for them as an Advisory Council. They would therefore, at nearly every session, have a series of queries involving points of discipline, and sometimes other matters of a different or doubtful nature before the body for discussion and adjudication. And we doubt not that some of our most level headed old brethren have been taken on surprise, and for the want of time to fully investigate, have very willingly seconded a motion to postpone the questions at issue until a subsequent meeting of the Association. We find at any rate, that course was considerably practiced, and indeed it was necessary often to do so, in order to get a proper solution of the queries. We are sometimes amused at the simple nature of some of the queries brought up, but when we take into consideration the fact, that many of our old brethren were not much conversant with Encyclopedias or Bible Dictionaries, or such works on discipline as we now have for perusal we should not. We cannot do otherwise
[p. 41]
than commend their vigilance and great watchfulness over heretical points of doctrine and mooted questions of discipline in which it seems they were ever faithful to their trusts. And the discussions they were instrumental in getting up before the Associations, were not only interesting and profitable to them as members of churches, but were of untold worth to the rising ministry, and to the denomination generally. We take pleasure therefore in collating all the various queries, although quaint and unvarnished in diction, that we can find recorded in the minutes, and give them a welcome place in our work.

Query, 1824. —
      A query from Cedar Springs was taken up, viz.
"Is it consistent with the Gospel to preach missionary sermons at the Association on Sunday, for the purpose of taking up collections of money?"
Answer. —. (This body evasively answers.) "The Association has ceased to be a Missionary Society. We will therefore no longer take up public collections for that object on Sundays."
1825, 1826 & 1827 - No Queries
[p. 44]
Query, 1828. —
      The following query was acted on, viz:
"What method shall be taken to receive a member again into fellowship in a sister church who withdrew himself from the church to which he belonged, by reason of a charge being brought against him by individuals who were not of the same faith and order, which church has since been dissolved by the Association, and he now wishes to join the nearest church to him?"
Answer. "If said member come before the church and make suitable acknowledgments for his former conduct, he can be received again into fellowship according to Gospel order."

[p. 46]
Query, 1829.
Query.—Is it consistent with the Gospel for a Baptist church to receive a person into fellowship who lias been immersed by an administrator of a different denomination, and recognize such a« valid baptism?
Answer.—No.

[p. 47]
Query, 1830. —
      The following query came from Macedonia church, where they are beginning to have trouble with Elder Jonathan Guthrie:
"When a minister of the Gospel withdraws from a Baptist church in consequence of the principles held by it, has said church a right to demand his credentials?"
Answer. "Yes."
Queries, 1831. —
      The following queries came up from Philadelphia and Cedar Springs:
1. Does the Word of God forbid a church to ordain a brother to the office of deacon whose wife is not a member of the church?"
Answer. "No; provided the wife profess (abstractly,) and has, the prudence and faithfulness of a good wife."

2. ''What shall a church do with members who have been contending about a matter, and agree to drop it and live together in the church, but will not commune together?"
Answer. "They should be dealt with as disorderly members, — first by admonition, and if that should prove ineffectual, then by excommunication."


[p. 48]
Queries, 1832. —
      The following queries were taken up and elicited considerable discussion, viz:
"Have we any command in the word of God, for the laying on of hands on those whom we baptize?"
Answer. "No."

[p. 49]
2. "How should a church act under those circumstances: A man marries a woman, twenty years since, and from peculiar reasons lives with her but a very short time; he then removes to another State, leaves his first wife behind and marries within a short time another woman, with this second wife he lives about eighteen years and has a considerable family of children: about this time himself and second wife profess to obtain religion, and one of them applies for admittance into the membership of the church: at the same time it is reported and believed that his first wife is dead, — can they be received as members?"
Postponed until next year for consideration.

[p. 50]
Queries, 1833. —
      The following queries were taken up and disposed of, viz:
1. "Shall nn able-bodied male member of u church be retained in fellowship who never contributes anything to the support of the church to which he belongs, without giving satisfactory reasons for it?"
Answer. "No."

2. The query of last session (See notice of hist year's record) was answered aft follows, viz: "As we are unacquainted with the peculiar circumstances mentioned in the query, we feel unprepared to give a definite answer, but in general terms we would say that we know of but two circumstances under which a man is justifiable in putting away his wife, or the wife her husband, and these are for the cause of fornication, and in case of an invalid marriage, — in both of which cases when either are proven beyond doubt, we conceive the innocent party to be justifiable in a second marriage, and entitled to church privileges."


[p. 52]
Query, 1834. —
      The following query was taken up for discussion, viz:
"Is it consistent with the Gospel to receive into the fellowship of the church persons who have been baptized by a minister in disorder, without re-baptizing them?"
Answer. "No."
1835, 1836, 1837 & 1838 - No Queries.
[p. 60]
Query, 1839. —
      Query from Green River church, viz:
"What shall be done when a married member makes application to the church for a letter of dismission, who has left his family and wishes to remove to a distant country, and who says that his companion is so disagreeable that he cannot live with her, and that he does not expect to live with her any more?"
Answer. "We advise the church to enquire into the circumstances, and if the evidence should be that the companion complained of is of such turbulent character as to render it impossible for the member complaining to live with the other in peace, and that her conduct is so disagreeable as to make the party miserable and unhappy, in such case a letter should be given, provided the complaining member has not married, and is of pious habits and good character; but if the evidence is that the complaining party is a wrong doer, and has so acted as to produce the cause of which he complains, then we think a letter should be refused."
1840, 1841, 1842 & 1843 - No Queries.
[p. 63]
Query, 1844. —
      The following query was sent up from Providence church, viz.
"Is it consistent with the Scriptures to ordain a man to the sacred office of Deacon, who carries on a distillery?"
"After some discussion, it was moved to lay the query on the table, which motion prevailed."

[p. 64]
Query, 1845. —
      The following query was laken up tor consideration, viz:
"Is it right to hold in fellowship, and admit to our communion, members who openly profess themselves Campbellites?"
Answer. "No."

1846. - No Queries.


[p. 68]
Queries, 1847. —
     The following queries were taken up for consideration:
1. "What is the proper course to be pursued by a church in relation to members who remain two or three years at a remote distance, and do not apply for letters of dismission?"
Answer. "Tlie church holding the membership of such should use a discretionary power as to their retention or exclusion."

2. "Are ministers of the Gospel authorized to receive and baptize members when sent to labor in distant parts of the world, where no church members are present?"
Answer. "Ministers of the Gospel may receive and baptize members in pursuance of our Lord's commission to His Apostles (Mark vi. 15, 16,) when sent to labor among the heathen; but it is inexpedient now, as a general rule in a land of churches and church members, to practice such a course except in very extreme cases."

3. "Is it right to hold in fellowship those who patronize dancing schools, or go themselves, or accompany their families, or those under their care or charge?"
Answer. "No."


[p. 74]
Queries, 1848. —
     The following queries from Philadelphia and Cedar Springs churches were taken up for consideration:
1. "Is it right and compatible with Baptist principles for a church to have an independent standing delegation?"
Answer by the body. "No."

2. "Is it consistent with the Scriptures, and the Constitution of the Broad River Association for ministers to lie standing delegates?"
Answer. "No."


1849, 1850. - No Queries.


[p. 77]
Query, 1851. —
     The following query was taken up from Corinth church:
"Has a regular organized Baptist church the right to open her floors for the reception of members at any time while her pastor or supply is absent?"
Answer. "A church has the right to do so, but it is a very desirable thing to have the pastor or supply present on such occasions."

1852, 1853, 1854. - No Queries.


[p. 83]
Queries, 1855. —
     After the usual routine of appointments, &c., the body took up the following queries from Cedar Springs church:
1. "Is it agreeable to the Scriptures and Baptist usage for one member to go to law with another, without first laying the case before the church, when time and opportunity will admit of it?"
Answer. "No."

"Can we fellowship members of the Baptist church who engage in buying or selling lottery tickets?"
Answer. "No."


[p. 85]
Query, 1856. —
      After the transaction of the usual routine of business, the following query from Limestone Springs church was taken up:
"Is it consistent with New Testament usages to hold annual elections for pastors or supplies for our churches?"
Answer. "The New Testament being silent on the subject, we believe it is the privilege and duty of the churches of this Association to elect their supplys or pastors as often as it should be thought advisable, for the peace and harmony of the church, and the convincing of sinners and turning them to repentance; and we believe each church should act for itself in its choice of pastor or supply."

1857, 1858. - No Queries.


[p. 94]
Query, 1859. —
      The following query from Goucher Creek was taken up:
"If a member lie excluded from one church. not having been justly dealt with, and applies to another church for membership upon a statement of facts, what should be the course of the latter church?"
Answer. ''In the opinion of this Association, one church is equal to another, and that church independence involves church equality. And if one church is equal to another, then it is obviously absurd to say that the action of one church binds any other church, much less every other church. But Christian propriety and the peace of Zion requires that the opinions and decisions of churches and majorities shall be respected. We would, therefore, recommend that when parties excluded from one church apply for membership in another church, that the church so applied to should not receive
[p. 95]
parties on their bare statement; but if, in her judgment there should appear to be just reasons for believing that said party or parties had been unjustly dealt with, that she might with great propriety interpose in behalf of said excluded parties, and by negotiating with the church excluding said parties secure an impartial examination of the nature of the charges and evidence upon which such parties were excluded, and if, after an impartial examination by disinterested parties, it should appear that said parties had been unjustly excluded, and if after the excluding church had been admonished to restore to fellowship such excluded parties, she (the excluding church) should still refuse to do so, the said excluded parties might, if their piety would recommend them, be received into the fellowship of another church without any violation of the principles of the Gospel."

1860, 1862. - No Queries.


[p. 100]
Query, 1863. — CONFEDERATE DESERTERS.
     The following query was taken up from Capernaum Church:
"How shall we proceed with members of our churches who have deserted from service In the Confederate army?" Answer. "That all cases of desertion should not he dealt with immediately, because by delay thus to act the persons may yet be restored to their country, and to the true cause. But this answer is not to be taken as allowing desertion, which is a grievous sin, and deserves the dealings of the church."

[p. 122]
Query, 1868.
     The following query from Pacolet church was taken up:
"Is it consistent with Baptist usage and the Constitution of the Broad River Association to have a standing delegation?"
Answered in the affirmative.

     The following query from Buffalo church was taken up:
"What shall Lie done with a person who joined the church and was baptized when young, and was excluded from the fellowship of that church and claims now to have been mistaken, and professes a recent change of heart and desires to be re-baptized in another church?"
Answer. "We believe that those persons who are most fearful of sin and its consequences are always the farthest from it; hence, persons sometimes think they have not been converted, and write bitter things against themselves, from penitency of mind and tenderness of heart — such the Lord delights to dwell with — and when He manifests His presence to them they take it for conversion, when it is only the renewing of their faith. This is the case often with many if not all Christians. We advise that such be not re-baptized.

     From this time, there were very few Queries.

[From John R. Logan, Sketches, Historical and Biographical, of the Broad River and King's Mountain Baptist Associations, (NC) From 1800 to 1882, 1887. Document from Google Books. — Jim Duvall]



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