The Baptist Examiner
The Policy and Program of this Paper
A Good Foundation For a Great Paper
It is fitting in this first issue of The Baptist Examiner that we give an outline of the policy and program that we shall follow. All that read this issue are urged to give close attention to what we have to say; and if it is found that the policy and program of the paper are worthwhile, or such as to make it profitable to them in any way, they are urged to subscribe immediately. This paper solicits support either on the ground of its merit as a potentially effective medium for the propagation of the truth, or on the ground of its value to the individual. We solicit support on these grounds and these alone. Here are the ten planks in our platform:
1. This paper is a real Baptist paper.
There are many different kinds of colors of "Baptists." Consequently, the name is not always as distinguishing as it should be. Therefore, for the sake of clearness the editor wishes to say that he belongs to the largest group of "Baptists," which group was formerly known (in England) as Particular Baptists; later (in America) as Regular Baptists; still later as Missionary Baptists; and now generally as simply Baptists. But there are some that affiliate with this group who are Baptists only in name. For that reason we specify that this paper is a real Baptist paper. It will stand four square for those distinctive principles that have ever made Baptists a separate people,—viz., the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Scriptures; the complete separation of "church" and state, and religious liberty; baptism as immersion in water of a saved person by a duly authorized administrator; close communion; the democratic polity of New Testament churches under the headship of Christ: total depravity; the absolute sovereignty of God and unconditional election; and the eternal Preservation and perseverance of every believer in Jesus Christ. We will stand also for the perpetuity of New Testament churches from New Testament days to the coming of our Lord for his saints.
T. T. Eaton is quoted as saying: "Some say they are Baptists, but not a Baptist and a half. The only reason I am not a Baptist and a half is that there is only one of me. If I had another half, it would be Baptist too." The editor can truly say that these are his sentiments. Some say that they are Baptists, but not fool Baptists. The editor is what many call a fool Baptist. Some say they are Baptists, but not narrow Baptists. The editor is a narrow Baptist because the truth is always narrow. The truth is just one definite thing; not two or three things. Some say they are Baptists', but not fighting Baptists. The editor is a fighting Baptist because the scriptures command him to put on the whole armor of God and to fight the good fight of faith. They also command him to contend earnestly for the once delivered faith, and the Greek
word for "contend earnestly" means to fight against every assailant of the faith. Besides these, there are many other scriptures also that enjoin warfare for truth and righteousness. We will remember, however, that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." (2 Corinthians 10:4). We will do all our fighting with "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6 :17). Also we will remember that victory for the truth is wrought "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the 'Lord of hosts" (Zechariah 4:6).
This paper will strive to make more Baptists and better Baptists. If it is right (in the full sense of the term) for one person to be a Baptist, it is the duty of all saved persons to be Baptists. And if it is right for a person to be a Baptist, it is his duty to be the best possible Baptist.
2. This paper is an independent Baptist paper.
This means that the paper is under no control, except that of the Holy Spirit. It means that it is bound by no obligation, except an obligation to be true to. the word of God. It means that it owes no allegiance and loyalty to anything, or anybody, except the Lord Jesus Christ and the word of God. It means that the paper will be free to print the whole truth without fear or favor. This paper is as independent as the first Baptist was when he came crying in the wilderness and calling the people to prepare the way of the Lord. Our mission is essentially the same as his.
3. This paper will be a unifying tie between real Baptists all over the English-speaking part of this continent.
We have adopted nothing less than the entire English speaking part of this continent as our field. We will expect and solicit support from real Baptists all over this field. And in this day of looseness and compromise real Baptists (those who love the whole truth in sincerity) should be drawn closer together, and should realize their unity more fully. Therefore, one of the distinctive missions of this paper will be the work untiringly and systematically toward these ends. This paper is undertaking to provide a medium of expression for real Baptists all over our adopted field. In this issue we are carrying an article from a pastor in Michigan, one from a pastor in Kentucky, and one front a pastor in Florida. We will endeavor to continue a similar distribution of writers. To this end we solicit the help of our brethren. If you have a scriptural, edifying message for the people, let us have it.
4. The one main objective of this paper is to bring about a clearer understanding of, and more exact obedience to the whole word of God.
In this, as in other things, we will differ from denominationally owned papers. The chief objective of denominationally owned papers is the advocacy and defense of denominational programs, policies, institutions, agencies, and organizations. But our appeal will be ever to "the law and to the testimony."
The greatest prosperity of Baptists depends not upon the efficiency of their methods, nor upon their loyalty to a man-made program; but upon their loyalty to the whole truth both in doctrine and in practice. This is our greatest need. There is no sound basis for cooperation other than the word of God. We will seek to promote cooperation and unity, but only on the above-mentioned basis. We are certain this is the kind of a paper our people need, and we have the conviction that it is the kind a goodly number of them want.
5. This paper is to be an open forum for discussion in the light of Scripture.
This is one of our special characteristics. We will not demand that a man agree with us before we will allow him to use the columns of this paper. But permit us to add that the truth, as God gives us to see it, will be safeguarded. When we feel sure that there has been any considerable or important departure from the truth by any writer, we will always point it out and meet it with the Scripture. And, while we will use it in extreme cases only, yet we must reserve the right to reject any article when we feel led of the Lord to do so. To those who are jealous for the truth (as all of us ought to be), we wish to say that we will feel a more acute responsibility for the teachings of this paper than we would feel for that which might be preached in the pulpit of a church over which the Lord had set us; for that which is written down in black and white, so that it may lie constantly before the reader, is capable of doing more evil than the spoken word. But we believe the best way to oppose prevalent heresy through a paper is to let the heresy come to the light and then meet it with scripture. Thus intelligent beliefs are wrought in the hearts of believers. God has allowed heresy to come into the world because its presence has a strongly confirming influence upon believers in the truth, because it furnishes the needed stimulus for study of the truth, and because it makes the truth stand out more prominently by providing a background for it. We believe this item of our policy and program is sound, and think it will prove beneficial. It will increase interest in the paper and extend its usefulness. We have adopted it after much prayerful deliberation. And, here and now, we want to extend an urgent invitation to those who dissent from any position taken by this paper to set forth their views in these columns. You will receive fair and brotherly treatment.
6. This paper will magnify the dignity, authority, and importance of the local church as the body of Christ and the custodian of his commission.
Paul reproached the Corinthians for despising the church (1 Corinthians 11:22). The opposite of despising the church is magnifying it. This we shall ever endeavor to do. Baptists seem to be slowly realizing that they have minimized the church in missionary activities. It is an indisputable fact that Baptists in practice have taken the commission of Christ out of the hands of the churches. But, thanks be unto God, there is the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees. There is a movement back toward the Book among Baptists. This paper will cultivate and encourage this movement. It will advocate that churches are directly responsible for that which they support, and that consequently, they should make up their own budget; also that they should support only that which is scriptural and right.
7. This paper will be thoroughly missionary and evangelistic to the core.
It will be glad to give place to the report of sound missionary work. Space will be given frequently to the discussion of topics and scriptures that relate to missions. We have no patience with anti-missions in any form or kind. We will ever seek to cultivate and encourage scriptural missionary zeal and activities. Also from time to time we will carry appropriate messages to the lost.
8. This paper will stand strongly against the six most deadly, damaging, injurious isms that war against the once delivered faith,—viz., Modernism, unionism, Arminianism, feminism, secretism, and postmillennialism.
These isms are all rank enemies of truth and righteousness. They all make for loose doctrine and living. We will wage an incessant warfare against them.
9. This paper will stand against all worldliness and will seek ever to hold up the scriptural ideal of holy living for believers.
Our position and policy in this connection are well defined by the following scriptures: "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (or spiritual) service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:1, 2). "The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:11, 12).
10. This paper will stand for the whole counsel of God and against every unscriptural doctrine and practice.
This item has really been covered in a general way in the foregoing paragraphs, but we wish here to give it special emphasis to remove all grounds for suspicion that we will stand only for a few pet ideas. We will ride no bobbies. We have no grievances to satisfy. We will seek to declare the whole counsel of God as God leads and enables us to do it. And this item covers everything we have not thought to mention particularly. Our contention for these things will include, rot merely the letter, but also the spiritual reality that underlies them.
If this policy and program appeals to you, we urge you to send in your subscription immediately. We need your subscription now more than we will need it later. SUBSCRIBE NOW!
[From: T. P. Simmons, editor, The Baptist Examiner, April 1, 1931. pp. 1-3. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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