Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Liberty of Conscience

"There is one aspect of liberty of conscience in which the baptist is frequently misunderstood and sometimes baptist themselves have failed to grasp it. Whereas baptists have always claimed total liberty of conscience for all men so that the 'Turk and the Jew' should be afforded freedom to practise their faiths uncoerced by civil and clerical powers, yet within the christian church the baptist has affirmed and enforced a strict discipline of conformity to scriptural faith and practice. Hence, any toleration of heresy or deviation from biblical standards is utterly abhorrent to the baptist."

-- From The Baptist: An Historical and Theological Study of the Baptist Identity, by Jack Hoad (London: Grace Publications, 1986)

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