Semple's Commentary on Excluded Ministers
by H. B. Little
In Robert Baylor Semple's History of the Baptists in Virginia, a query of interest from the 1793 Roanoke Association is recorded by the author. It is as follows, "Whether the excommunication of a minister does not make his credentials null and void?" The association answered in the afﬁrmative. In other words, yes the excluded preacher’s credentials become invalid upon exclusion. Bro. Semple follows with his own commentary on the subject. "This is a subject of general interest. Many evils have been produced from excommunicated preachers availing themselves of their former credentials, yet it is difﬁcult to ﬁnd a remedy." (Page 308) Two hundred years have passed since Bro. Semple wrote on this troublesome practice, yet the same thing may be said of it today.
In the words of Winston Churchill, "Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it."
[From The Baptist Landmark, Volume number 1, September 18, 2016, Issue 3, p. 3. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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