Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ending Baptist succession

I thought the following was both pointed and humorous, and appropriate in light of the posts I've been making.

"If Baptist succession be the bad thing some brethren say, then certainly it ought to be given up. There should be no more of it.

"The churches now in existence ought to have no succession. When a new church is organized, it should have no sort of connection with other churches, or relations to them. Let churches be organized anywhere, anyhow, by anybody. Just let people be believers, and let them baptize each other and start a church. This does away with Baptist succession. And if it be the bad thing that is charged, it ought to be done away with at the earliest moment. Those who oppose Baptist Succession have no logical ground to stand on in organizing a church out of material furnished by other churches, and with those baptized by regularly ordained Baptist ministers." (T. T. Eaton, quoted by Milburn Cockrell, in Scriptural Church Organization, Second Edition, pp. 57-58).

Thanks to Mark Fenison, who posted this on the Historic Baptist Symposium


Anonymous said...

It is not disputed among professing Christians that Christ Jesus established His church while He was upon this earth. His church is a mystical, spiritual church that has not been and never will be broken or end. Evidence of His mystical, spiritual church is made manifest upon this earth in the form of local congregations of true believers. Since Christ established His church there have always been bodies of true believers somewhere on this earth. (There are more than one body of true believes in existance at one time.)
I read all the writings posted on this subject and am dissapointed that my favorite person in the history of Baptist churches in American was not mentioned. His name was Roger Williams. Those desiring a thorough serach of historical writings on the Baptist must study the life of Roger Williams very closely and thoroughly. Hoyt D. F. Sparks

Bro. Matt said...

Boy, that was some deep stuff.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Bro. Hoyt, thanks for the comments and your perspective. I'm glad you brought up Roger Williams. It has given me the idea of posting excerpts of some of his writings on my blog.

I agree on the importance of Roger Williams to America, freedom of religion, etc. I don't think he is that important to Baptist history -- in fact, he only spent a short time as a Baptist. That in no way depreciates the contributions he made; just recognizes historical facts. He was a Puritan within the Established Church (England); became a dissenter, then a Baptist, then a "seeker" the rest of his life. His relations with the Baptists (as a Baptist) seems to have lasted only in terms of months, not years. His acceptance of the following as truth, and not a falling out with the Baptists, appears to be the immediate cause: "There is no regularly constituted church of Christ on earth, nor any person qualified to administer any church ordinances; nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking." He died waiting for this restoration.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Bro. Matt, Come on in, the water's fine!