"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
March 1, 2002
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In this Issue:
QUESTIONS CONCERNING CHRIST’S GRACIOUS ATONEMENT
Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church Takes Giant Step for Thailand Missions
SANDY CREEK CHURCH, SHUBAL STEARNS, THE SIX-PRINCIPLE SEPARATE BAPTISTS AND WOMEN PREACHERS (Continued)
Bouquets and Brickbats
CHRIST’S GRACIOUS ATONEMENT
By Wayne Camp
(Part 1 of a multipart message)
A. Could Christ have made a better atonement?
B. Could Christ have made a more valuable atonement?
C. Could Christ have made a more meritorious atonement?
D. Would more sheep have required more suffering?
COULD CHRIST HAVE MADE A BETTER, MORE VALUABLE ATONEMENT?
“His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men,” (Isa. 52:14).
“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthaani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mk. 14:34).
“Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ as a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Pet. 1:18-20).
I have used three passages of Scripture as a basis for this message concerning the sufferings of Christ. The first tells of Christ's sufferings at the hand of men—they so marred his outward appearance with the scourging, beating, slapping, spitting, and plucking of his beard that he did not even appear as a man any longer. Our second verse tells of the sufferings of Christ at the hand of God— he turned his back on him and left him to suffer and die alone. He forsook him and poured out his indignation upon his sin-bearing, sinless Son.
Our third passage speaks of the value of Christ's sufferings—we are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, God's spotless, unblemished Son as foreordained before the foundation of the world.
I have used these verses to pose two questions:
1. Was the atonement of Christ limited to the elect because there was a limited merit and value to his blood and sufferings? or,
2. Was Christ's atonement limited according to a Divine plan and Sovereign purpose in his sufferings?
Charles Spurgeon wrote:“I know there are some who think it necessary to their system of theology to limit the merits of the blood of Jesus: If my theological system needs such a limitation, I would cast it to the winds. I cannot, I dare not, allow the thought to find a lodging in my mind, it SEEMS SO NEAR AKIN TO BLASPHEMY. In Christ's finished work I see an ocean of merit; my plummet finds no bottom, my eye discovers no shore. There must be sufficient efficacy in the blood of Christ, if God had so willed it, to have saved not only all in the world, but all in ten thousand worlds, had they transgressed their maker's law. Once admit infinity into the matter, and limit is out of the question. Having a divine person for an offering, IT IS NOT CONSISTENT TO CONCEIVE OF LIMITED VALUE; bound and measure are terms INAPPLICABLE to the Divine sacrifice. The intent of the Divine purpose fixes the application on the infinite offering, but does not change it into a finite work” (Autobiography, Vol. I, p. 174).
Spurgeon strongly denounced any system of theology which required placing a limit on the value of the atonement and changed it into a finite work. He even declared such a system“near akin to blasphemy”.
There are those who would have us limit the value of the sacrifice, sufferings, and blood of Christ, or they question our soundness on the limited atonement. I agree with Spurgeon that“if my theological system needs such a limitation, I would cast it to the winds.”
Of the infinite value of Christ's sufferings, Dr. J. P. Boyce wrote:“The death of Christ included the penalty in all its fulness. In it he offered up his body and was laid in the grave. In it the separation from God took place by which he was led to feel himself forsaken. ‘My God, my god, why hast thou forsaken me?’ was his cry of agony. That his death was not eternal, as would ours have been, arose from the fact that in the execution of the sentence of condemnation, God found in him not such a victim as mere man would have been, unable to atone, or render full satisfaction; but one whose glorious nature gave INFINITE VALUE to suffering, and who could feel most keenly, yet could bear without destruction, the wrath of God” (Abstract of Systematic Theology, p. 328). Again he wrote of the requirements of the one making the atonement? “Anything he could do must be acceptable to God; for God delighteth in him, Any act of his must be OF INFINITE VALUE to accomplish any end for which he designed it’.” (Ibid. p. 330).
J. P. Boyce held to the doctrine of an atonement that was of“infinite value” but its “limitation is one of purpose” (Ibid., p. 337).
Dr. J. R. Graves wrote of the parable of the hidden treasure:“I understand the field to represent this world ... That the people of God, the 'seed of Abraham' are the treasures hid in this field, is amply sustained by the teaching's of the Word ... Christ was the purchaser of the field. He purchased the world and the treasure He discovered in it by the stipulations of the covenant of redemption. He purchased the earth and his people by His own blood. The Father, in that covenant made over to His Son this earth as His purchased possession: 'Ask of me and I shall give the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of. the earth for thine inheritance' (Psa. 2:8)...Paul refers to both the earth and the saints as the purchased possession of Christ (Eph. 1:14) ... Christ will never regret the purchase of this field, nor will he be disappointed in the treasure it contains” (The Parables and Prophecies of Christ Explained, pp. 100-103).
In his explanation of the Pearl of Great Price parable Graves wrote:“We see in this the matchless love and compassion of Christ, so loving us as to be willing to pay such an INFINITE PRICE for us” (Ibid. p.105).
Again, Dr. Graves wrote:“All the punishment due our sins (and it was infinite) was laid on the sufferer of Calvary; and he bore it for us as our substitute: and though it bore him down for a season under the shades of death, yet he finished it, and rose again. The finite suffering of a finite person could never, in eternal ages, make an infinite sacrifice, which the violated law demanded; and therefore it would be of endless duration. The Person who suffered must have been infinite since he SUFFERED INFINITELY” (Seven Dispensations, pp. 92-93).
Surely, none who are familiar with J. R. Grave's writings will question his being a teacher of sovereign grace! Yet, he held to the doctrine that the atonement was of INFINITE VALUE because of the INFINITE DIGNITY and WORTH of the Sufferer of Calvary. He wrote again:“The law required infinite suffering: Christ poured out his own divine soul unto death, and paid the demand (of infinite suffering, RWC) by the travailing anguish of his own soul. Never before was such a redemption price paid” (Ibid. p. 112). Dr. Graves repeatedly uses the terms of “infinite penalty,” “infinite sacrifice,” and “infinite suffering” as he describes the atonement of Christ.
This same idea is advanced by the noted theologian, Charles Hodge:“On the great day of atonement the scape-goat bore the sins of the people, whether they were more or less numerous. It had no reference at all to the number of persons for whom atonement was to be made. So Christ bore the sins of his people; whether they were to be a few hundreds, or countless millions, or the whole human family, makes no difference as to the nature of his work, or as to the value of his satisfaction. What was absolutely necessary for one, was abundantly sufficient for all” (Systematic Theology, Vol. II, P. 555). Again Hodge wrote: “The righteousness of Christ being of infinite value or merit, and being in its nature precisely what all we need, may be offered to all men” (Ibid.).
The late Professor of Systematic Theology at Calvin Seminary stated:“The question with which we are concerned at this point is not (a) whether the satisfaction rendered by Christ was in itself sufficient for all men, since this is admitted by all ... the question does relate to the design of the atonement” (Systematic Theology, pp. 393-394). Berkhof proceeds to show that the design of the atonement was the salvation of the elect but he, as the others I have quoted, completely rejected the Anselmic theory of the atonement which is also called the Commercial Theory.
Space does not permit my quoting others but I would just give a few brief excerpts from the pen of A. W. Pink. He said of Christ:“He was required to present unto God a satisfaction possessing infinite merits, which procured infinite blessings for his people” (The Atonement, P. 54).
If any doubt the infinite worth and value of the blessings procured by Christ for his elect, consider what Paul says on the matter. Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. It is will take the eternal ages for God to reveal the exceeding riches of the grace he has shown to us through Jesus Christ, surely they are infinite. For them to be infinite, an atonement of infinite worth would have been required to purchase them for us.
Pink further declared that the Divine nature of Christ“rendered” his atonement “infinitely valuable” (Ibid. p. 55). Again he writes: “It is because Christ was who He was which gave an infinite value to what he did” (Ibid.).
Pink also quotes with approval Dr. Symington who writes:“From the perfection of His atonement arising out of the circumstances specified above, does it proceed that he makes intercession for us within the veil of the upper sanctuary, that he dispenses with munificent hand the gifts of his purchase and causes the prey of a great spoil to be divided. And pardon and peace redemption and holiness, eternal glory and bliss are, among the rich fruits of the royal and triumphal conquest he achieved, when by His INFINITELY meritorious death, He spoiled principalities and powers and made a show of them openly. With the most entire confidence, then may the needy sinner, smitten with the deepest sense of conscious unworthiness, rely for salvation on this ALL-SUFFICIENT ATONEMENT” (Ibid.).
While every one of the writers whom I have quoted believed in a limited atonement none of them denied the infinite value of that atonement; rather, all affirmed it. These men did not believe in a universal atonement; neither does this writer! In our efforts to defend the limited atonement, it is not necessary to limit the value of the atonement. The atonement is definitely limited according to divine purpose. That is Scriptural. “He shall save HIS PEOPLE from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). God gave his Son “power over all flesh” with a particular and limited purpose; i.e., “that he should give eternal life to AS MANY AS THOU HAST GIVEN HIM” (Jn. 17:2).
(To be Continued Next Issue)
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Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church Takes Giant Step for Thailand Missions
By Wayne Camp, Pastor
For over a year I have been wrestling with the question of going to Thailand for four months each year to start and teach a Bible School for the pastors and young preachers in the work. When one is approaching 65 years of age it is not an easy matter to make such a step. Many questions were in my mind about which I needed to know the will of God, a matter that is not always easy.
When I determined that it is the will of God that I go and teach the pastors and young preachers for four months each year—November through February—the church unanimously voted on April 14, 2002, for me to go to Thailand and do this work but remain as pastor of Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church.
This was truly an open door of opportunity for this church. Rarely does a church have the privilege of doing such a thing. She may send her pastor to a foreign country for a short period of time but not for such an extended period. But, Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church has voted unanimously to accept this challenge and opportunity. In fact, people who were not even in the service when the vote was taken have assured me they are for this avenue of service.
There are no textbooks available in the Lahu and Lisu languages. I have a number of duplicates in my library that I will be taking over. Rather than trying to translate these and print them in the languages, I plan to teach the students to read English. I can teach them English easier and quicker than we can translate the books.
The written Lahu language is only about 40 or 50 years old. The Lahu Bible is not a very good translation because the man who translated it was a Northern Baptist Missionary who let his prejudices show through. But it is the best they have in their native tongue. My goal is to teach them English so that they can read a KJV Bible. In October, 2001, I sent Bro. Anond a Thompson Chain Reference KJV and he now does a great deal of his Bible reading in it. He has told me many times how it clarifies things in his Thai language Bible if he reads it and compares the two. Just yesterday, Sunday, May 5, 2002, I was talking to him and he told me how much he is enjoying the Bible I gave him. He is in the hospital with a back problem and has been reading the Bible a great deal, even more than he usually does.
I said all this to let you know that I have more than one reason for teaching the preachers to read English. First, it will enable them to read a good translation of the Scriptures. Second, they will be able to read helpful theology books. One of the problems of the Lahu, Lisu, and Thai languages is that they have no words in their vocabulary for some biblical words. It may take three or four sentences for an interpreter/translator to explain one biblical word when we are preaching. It will be necessary to teach them biblical vocabulary in English with detailed explanations of such words as regeneration, imputation, sanctification, and many others.
My plan is to teach English one hour each day. There are some who will learn more rapidly than others. My plan is to proceed at the pace of the faster students and let them assist the others after classes and bring them along. We will start with six hours of class time four days per week. The pastors will go home after Friday classes to be with their churches on the weekend. They will return on Monday to be ready for classes on Tuesday. On the weekends, I will visit churches and reinforce there what we are teaching in the school.
At my age I do not have two or three years to travel among the churches to raise support for this work. There will be considerable expenses involved even though PHBC will continue to pay my salary. The first session of school will start November 4, 2002, and end February 28, 2003. We will have to buy rice for the students to eat while at school and will have to purchase notebooks and other supplies for the school. I will have travel expense and extra living expenses since my wife will be staying in the U. S. and will make a mid-term visit to Thailand. I will provide more details as the time for the first departure approaches.
This work is a part of the overall work of Thailand missions. Bro. Jack Green and Bro. Bill Lee who led in the starting of this work and who continue to do so have both given me their 100% endorsement for this work. We want no division in the work. We are together in it.
We have decided to call the school The Sovereign Grace Baptist School of Theology. When I was discussing this name with Bro. Anond Phoothaptim, the missionary in Thailand, the first thing he said was, “I need Scripture for that name.” I am in the process of writing an article that gives the biblical basis for the name and will publish it in another issue of the paper.
In the meantime, pray for me. Pray for my wife as she makes the sacrifice of staying here in the states while I am away. Pray for my church, the Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church, while I am away. Pray that those who fill the pulpit in my absence will be used of God to encourage and edify the people. Pray that the Holy Spirit will comfort the people in my absence as he can do so well. Pray that God will lay it on the hearts of his people to support Thailand missions more so that we may be able to accomplish the most possible in this effort.
I want to thank the many who have already spoken or written words of encouragement. Between now and November I want to build an e-mail mailing list for those who would like to receive e-mailed updates while I am there. If you would like to be on this list, please let me know. Send it to this e-mail address: Rwcamp@cris.com.
More details will be published in future issues of the paper.
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THE SANDY CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH
(Continued From Last Issue)
SANDY CREEK CHURCH, SHUBAL STEARNS, THE SIX-PRINCIPLE SEPARATE BAPTISTS AND WOMEN PREACHERS
By Wayne Camp
TEXT: 1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
1 Timothy 2:11-12 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
In the last issue (Feb. 2002), I pointed out my surprise to learn that the Sandy Creek Six-Principle Separate Baptist Church and the Sandy Creek Association founded by Shubal Stearns, pastor of Sandy Creek Baptist Church had women preachers. They did not ordain them. They did not let them pastor. But they did preach as we showed in the last issue. We now continue this study with
THE TESTIMONY OF JOSH POWELL
According to Josh Powell, Morgan Edwards of the Philadelphia Association who visited Sandy Creek church one year after the death of Shubal Stearns, also referred to this matter of women preaching, and the appointment of elderesses and deaconesses in the Sandy Creek church and other Separate Baptist Churches. He wrote,
Edwards also claims that in addition to elders, Sandy Creek Church also had elderesses and deaconesses. The allowance of women to have such a prominent role was without a doubt a practice that Gano would have frowned upon. The Philadelphia Association affirmed that women had the right, even the obligation, to speak in church on many occasions. In matters of discipline when they either accused others or defended themselves, and when called on to give testimony of a work of grace women must speak. "Hence the silence, with subjection, enjoined on all women in the church of God, is such a silence as excludes all women whomsoever from all degrees of teaching, ruling, governing, dictating, and leading in the church of God." Martha Marshall, the wife of Daniel Marshall and sister of Steams, became famous for her exhortations. Although little is known of her youth, it is possible that she started exhorting in New England. Quoting Semple, Catherine Brekus states, "Marshall was a lady of good sense, singular piety, and surprising elocution' who frequently 'melted a whole concourse into tears by her prayers and exhortations."' Knowing that this would bring great criticism from his readers, Semple shields them by stating that in her exhorting, Marshall never "usurped authority over the other sex." (Founders Journal, Spring 2001, Pp. 16-31).
It is hard for this editor to understand how anyone could preach and exhort without usurping authority over men. I am reminded of the words of Paul to the young preacher Titus. Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. He also wrote similar words to Timothy. 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
The very declaration of the Word of God carries authority and I do not know how any person, man or woman, could preach and exhort in the manner that Martha Stearns Marshall was said to preach and exhort without usurping authority over every man present. The preached gospel of Jesus Christ carries in it a command to repent and a command to believe.
THE TESTIMONY OF BAPTIST HISTORIAN
J. M. CRAMP
The Baptist Historian, J. M. Cramp, was very sympathetic toward the Separate Baptists of Sandy Creek and other of these churches. He wrote,
They were not all suitably qualified for the work, as we should now judge; mistakes were committed and measures of doubtful propriety adopted, in some places; but such things might be expected in times of great spiritual excitement. It cannot be denied that the laborers were generally men of God, "full of the Holy Ghost and of faith." They had deep convictions of the evil of sin and the peril of a rebellious state. The love of God in Christ overpowered their souls. Their views of the solemn realities of another world were vivid and heart-affecting.... Their earnest appeals made the stout-hearted tremble, awed many a reprobate into silence, and wrung tears from daring and hardened offenders. Tens of thousand bowed before the majesty of truth.... We need not be surprised at some oddities.... If the churches composing the Sandy Creek Association in North Carolina were tenacious of the kiss of charity, the laying on of hands upon members, the appointment of elderesses, and such things;... and if, in some respects, the fervency of New Light feelings got the better of discretion and decorum, we must bear in mind the peculiarities of the times. After a long season of cold and drought, the Lord "poured water upon him that was thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground;" the spiritual vegetation sprang up thick and strong, requiring skillful cultivators; and some detriment was experienced for want of care in pruning and training. In the course of a few years these wants were supplied, and suitable arrangement constituted. Surely we ought to prefer a revival of religion, though dished with some irregularities, to the death-like coldness of mere orthodoxy and form. (J. M. Cramp, Baptist History, Pp. 535, 536, 545, Quoted by Josh Powell in Shubal Stearns and the Separate Baptist Tradition, Founders Journal, Spring 2001, Pp. 16-31).
Notice that Cramp mentions the practice of the “appointment of elderesses” by Sandy Creek and other Separate Baptists.
THE TESTIMONY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON PASCHAL
In his well-known history of the Baptists in North Carolina, George W. Paschal confirms the fact that both women and men preached in the Separate Baptist Church known as Sandy Creek. He tells of how Shubal Stearns heard in Virginia that the people of North Carolina would ride or travel as much as 40 miles to hear a sermon. Stearns and his party left Virginia and went to North Carolina and constituted themselves into a Separate Baptist Church. Here is what Paschal wrote of their arrival and their preaching.
But when he [Shubal Stearns] had come they found in his manner, gestures, tone of voice, and earnestness, that which they had never seen or heard before. The report of these things was noised abroad and a spirit of alarm ran through the people. They assembled in throngs to hear him, some from curiosity, some to mock, some with more serious purposes. Of those who joined the congregation and came in the sound of the preacher's voice, few escaped the spiritual influences that pervaded the meeting. They trembled, they cried aloud for mercy, they found their strength to fail and fell upon the ground in collapse. A spirit like that of Pentecost was among the Christians. It seems that nearly every member of the little church, men and women, preached or exhorted or prayed. Daniel Marshall and Joseph Breed, though not ordained as pastors of Baptist churches, were already preachers, Mr. Marshall having spent several years as a Presbyterian missionary among the Indians. Marshall's wife, Martha Stearns, a sister of Shubal, was hardly less powerful in these meetings than her famous brother. Of her we are told that, "Without the shadow of an usurped authority over the other sex, Mrs. Marshall, being a lady of good sense, singular piety, and surprising elocution, has, in countless instances melted a whole concourse into tears by her prayers and exhortations." (History of North Carolina Baptists, George Washington Paschal, Vol. 1, P. 289)
Read again what Paschal said. “It seems that nearly every member of the little church, men and women, preached or exhorted or prayed.”
Martha Stearns is mentioned again as preaching and exhorting by Paschal. He discusses a relatively unknown man named James Younger. He says,
Younger seems to have been a man of humble native endowments and little education, and yet able by his pious life and earnest exhortations to make his neighbors realize the claims of God and religion in their lives. That he was not an ordained minister is shown by the fact that his aid was not sought in the ordination of Daniel Marshall as pastor of the Abbott's Creek church a few years later. Though he was not able to preach himself, like Andrew he sought and found one who was abler than he. The fame of the Separates of Sandy Creek had reached his ears, and thither he went. On his return he brought with him that indefatigable missionary pioneer, Daniel Marshall. As a result of the labors of this earnest and fervent evangelist, in which he doubtless had the assistance of his saintly and gifted wife, Mrs. Martha Stearns Marshall, great numbers turned to the Lord. (Ibid. P. 291).
Note this very last sentence. Due to his information, Paschal had no doubt that Martha Stearns Marshall was sharing ministerial duties with her husband, Daniel. She was an elderess. It is apparent from historical evidence that the Separate Baptists with whom Shubal Stearns and Daniel Marshall and his wife, Martha Stearns Marshall were affiliated had both unordained elderesses and deaconesses.
THE TESTIMONY OF DR. STEVE PRESCOTT
Dr. Steve Prescott, Professor of Church History at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary has a paper posted on the Internet called The Evangelical Explosion in the South. In Part III he deals with Shubal Stearns and Daniel Marshall. He is not critical of the Separate Baptist movement because many Southern Baptists trace their origin to Shubal Stearns and the Separate Baptist movement.
Like J. M. Cramp before him, Prescott soft-pedals the role of women among these churches. But, honesty forced him to write,
Both Stearns and Marshall were emotional in their preaching. Stearns was a gifted preacher and very much in the mold of George Whitefield. He was fiery, out spoken, and bombastic. Marshall was a much poorer preacher (Marshall’s wife Martha, who was Stearns’ sister reportedly was a superb public speaker perhaps exceeding her brother in giftedness).
The reason that I say that he soft-pedaled the issue is the following statement which does not negate what he said above about the preaching of Martha Stearns Marshall. Prescott wrote,
By the way, much has been made of the presence of elderesses and deaconesses in the Separate Baptists at Sandy Creek. Pastor's wives were sometimes referred to as elderess (of course, the pastors were called elders, pastor did not come unto common use until 60 years ago or so). I know of no evidence that an elderess was ever considered a pastor, preached from the pulpit, or was ordained. Deacons wives, and quite possibly other women were often known as deaconesses. These were unordained individuals who cared for the sick, but primarily helped at baptisms. There were no baptisteries then, it was outdoors and there were separate groups of men and women to assist the male and female converts respectively with the niceties of getting into dry clothes. Duh.
For those who may not know, the “Duh” used by Dr. Prescott is an expression that is designed to declare as idiots any who disagree with his statement. He apparently has reference to any who make more than he makes of the role of women at Sandy Creek and among the Separate Baptists. I should point out that the majority of the preachers and churches in the Philadelphia Association of the same period in history were critical of the Separate Baptists and sought to distinguish themselves from the Separates because of irregularities among them including their allowing women to preach, exhort, lead in public prayer and assist in administration of the Lord’s Supper.
Other things that caused concern for the churches and pastors of the Philadelphia Association were the “modified” Calvinism, the practice of anointing the sick with oil, the belief in direct revelations from God in addition to Scripture, the belief in visions and the gift of prophecy, and other things.
The Sandy Creek church and most other Separate Baptist churches practiced the “Nine Rites” as if they were church ordinances. Several authors after whom I have read point out these “Nine Rites.” Of them Josh Powell writes in the Founders Journal,
Another method that would have been considered "immethodical" was the practice of nine rites. These nine rites were baptism, the Lord's Supper, love feasts, laying on of hands, washing feet, anointing the sick, the right hand of fellowship, kiss of charity, and devoting children. [Editor’s note: Some of the brethren of the Philadelphia association called this devoting of children “dry christening”.] Little information can be found concerning the origin of these rites in the Separate tradition. Even among the Separate Baptists not all churches practiced these. These rites went far beyond the two ordinances of the Philadelphia Confession and beyond Gano who believed that the Bible only ordained two; nine must have seemed excessive. This probably made other Baptist groups look in contempt toward the Separates because they believed that several of these rites were not scriptural.
I will deal with these matters in another article but felt it important to note that the preaching of women was not the only irregularity of Shubal Stearns, Daniel Marshall, Martha Stearns Marshall, the Sandy Creek church and most of the Separate Baptist Churches.
THE TESTIMONY OF RICHARD L. MCCUTCHEN
John McCutchen was a Separate Baptist elder and missionary who was born in 1755 in Augusta County, Virginia. In a history of his descendants, Richard L. McCutchen, wrote,
There were many new religious sects introduced into the South Carolina backcountry after 1750 by emigration from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina of German, Scotch-Irish, and dissenting English. Of the Baptist sect, by far the majority entering the backcountry were at first known as 'Separates'. One of the effects of the Great Awakening in New England under Rev. Jonathan Edwards and Rev. George Whitefield has been the division of the Constitutional churched into Old Lights and New Lights, the New Lights claiming that the religion of the Old Lights had grown soulless and formal and had no more light of the scriptural inspiration. Partly from their unpleasant situation in New England (persecution) and partly from their missionary zeal, the Separates spread their principles to other colonies.
The Separate Baptist were characterized by a stern insistence on profession of vital religion before baptism. They claimed to find in the New Testament and they zealously carried out in their religious exercises: Baptism, the Lord's Supper love feasts, laying on of hands, washing feet, anointing the sick, right hand of fellowship, kiss of charity, and devoting children. ‘Here ruling elders, elderesses, and deaconess are allowed', wrote the Rev. Morgan Edwards in 1772.’ Some of them are said to have celebrated weekly communion. Their preachers often used the powerful exhorting tones and gestures later so effective in the great revival, and many converts out of fell [fell out] during service'.
Again McCutchen wrote,
Not only the authorities but the Regular Baptists regarded the Separates with suspicion. When asked to help ordain one of the zealous Separate missionaries, the minister of Welsh Creek church 'sternly refused, declaring that he had no fellowship there, and that he believed them to be a disorderly set, suffering women to pray in public, and permitting every ignorant man to preach that chose, and that they encouraged noise and confusion in their meetings'. (The book from which this was taken may be viewed at:
One of the reasons most of the Regular Baptists of the Philadelphia Association and others had little or no fellowship with the Separate Baptists was their allowing women to preach, pray, exhort and help in the administration of the Lord’s Supper. The Philadelphia Association churches and pastors were strictly opposed to women preaching and exhorting in the services of their churches. They said,“Hence the silence, with subjection, enjoined on all women in the church of God, is such a silence as excludes all women whomsoever from all degrees of teaching, ruling, governing, dictating, and leading in the church of God.” (Minutes of the Philadelphia Association, P. 53). The time of this was AD 1746.This was in answer to a query concerning women voting in business meetings of the church. The messengers believed women could vote but not speak unless they were charged in a disciplinary action or needed to give testimony in a disciplinary action. Or, if a woman voted in opposition to the rest of the members (voted alone) she could be called to give a reason for her vote.
Other testimony could be given but this should be sufficient to establish incontrovertibly that the Sandy Creek Church and the Separate Baptist Churches did have women preachers though they were not ordained nor did they pastor. I found it rather interesting that these Regular Baptists, as the Sovereign Grace Baptists called themselves to distinguish themselves from the Separate Baptists and the General (Arminian) Baptists of the day, would not fellowship with the Separate Baptists. Yet, many of our brethren today trace their history through the Separate Baptists of the Sandy Creek church and the Philadelphia Association.
I do not know about others, but I would find questionable a link in my chain that allowed women to preach, exhort, pray, and help administer the Lord’s Supper. I would also have a problem with claiming this link when the churches of the Philadelphia Association would have little or no fellowship with them.
Would you consider a church Scriptural in AD 2002 that had women preachers? Would you fellowship with and receive letters from a church that has women preachers and considers foot washing and devoting of babies church ordinances? If you consider chain-link succession essential to a church’s validity and your ecclesiastical chain connects through the Sandy Creek Church in Guilford County, North Carolina, why not?
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Bouquets and Brickbats
WWW:get a life...you must be a southern baptist.
WWW: Dear brotheren,
Is this hatred? Jesus comanded his deciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel. To SAVE THE LOST.... I feel led to caution you on all your hard work to FIND A SPLINTER in your brothers eye. You are so simmilar to the green peace fanatic who spends so much time and effort to save the life of a mammal,when there are so many human beings being slain all around the world for thier beliefe in christ. When there are so many children starving or being murdered inside the womb due to A WOMANS RIGHT TO KILL. May I suggest that you refocus your passions ,to saving the lost as He has commanded. Do something Worthy of your time here on earth Suggestions... Feed the Hungry, take a needy family into your home, give your time and money to further the kingdom of God. I do not have the time to look FOR SPLINTERS I am busy doing my part for Christ. Not only do I not have time to set up a website to persicute,but I wont waste my time corrisponding with you any further . Sincerely hope your ears are open.
EDITOR’S LETTER TO THIS READER OF OUR WEBSITE:
Sounds as if you are pretty good at finding splinters. I have many, many documents on the WebSite that have nothing to do with showing the error of some movements. You have judged—as so many do—the entire WebSite by a few articles that appear there. Let me urge you to go to this URL and scroll down and look at some of the articles. You found the "splinter", now go find the meat and milk that are there. You will find that I do focus on other things more than on showing the heresy of certain people.
But, of course, the good minister of Jesus must show error when it is found.
1 Timothy 4:1-6 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
Paul told Timothy that if he warned-"put the brethren in remembrance" of the heresies that arose in his day he would be a good minister of Jesus Christ.
Of course, you are probably wiser than Paul and wiser than the Holy Spirit who inspired him to write these words.
Yes, you have proven that you are a splinter finder yourself. Your letter proves it.
Thanks for writing,
WWW: I am a new Christian exploring the Internet and happened upon your anti PK discourse. Yeah, Mother Teresa was a major satanic force all right. You are on the money on this one. I had to read no further into your article saving time. I prayed for you but suspect you are on the other side.
WWW: Do you really understand and believe everything you are saying. Have you proven everything you have said to be true. I am not talking about just what you "heard". Is everything you said absolutely true. If you are absolutely sure of everything you have expressed in your publication, as well intentioned as you may be, you are in danger of blaspheming God. If God is saving men through Promise Keepers, how can it be wrong? I admit every organization has some wrong in it. Yes even Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church. I have not seen you say one positive thing about Promise Keepers. I want to caution you brother, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I will pray for you, and I want you to pray that God will reveal the truth about Promise Keepers. I mean if this is really His work or the work of the devil. I think we really need to be careful before we label something like that.
I do not work for the Promise Keepers organization.
EDITOR’S RESPONSE: When I wrote the articles on PKs I extensively and diligently researched the organization. I bought seven of their own publications and read them. I read The Masculine Journey, the blasphemous book written by Robert Hicks and published with the aid of PKs and has their endorsement. They gave away 50,000 of the books at one or more of their early rallies. So many people protested the book that they no longer distribute the book but still stamp their approval on it.
I have not done any research on the organization in a couple of years but when I last was keeping close tabs on them they were becoming more and more Roman Catholic oriented. I stand by what I have written and no one has taken the articles and refuted the claims. They just attack them without supporting their attack with solid, verifiable facts.
When I am certain that I have the evidence to back up the position I hold, I do not fear that I will blaspheme God. God is a God of Truth and when I am certain I am publishing the truth, I know that pleases him.
Jesus Christ established a church while he was on earth, a visible body of scripturally baptized believers. Through the mission efforts of that church and others there has been a perpetual existence of such churches in accordance with the promise of Jesus Christ. Matthew 16:18 “. . . upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” It is through such churches that God receives his glory, not through such para-church organizations as PKs that was founded with no biblical authority for its existence.
Can you give me any biblical authority for the existence of PKs? I have asked at least 200 PKs this question and not one has produced the scripture for such an organization. Can you? I will await your answer.
FLORIDA: You really generalize The vineyard community church which I take offense to, as I am a Member. To say one person, James Ryle, pastor of Boulder Valley Vineyard started the PK one would assume a radical, well they are in every church. The Vineyard keepers movement ? Never heard of it. Southern Baptists don't exactly have a great reputation either because there are many radicals in the Southern including your very own Jerry Farwell. Our pastor meets with several denominations including Baptist, every week to make sure things never get out of of hand. I've never heard of any other chuches doing this. Besides the Lord , he also had a physical boss he has to answer to who is over all Vineyard community church's. We even pray for other churches of all faiths in the community every Sunday ..do Baptists? Judge least ye be judge. I understand one needs to be aware of Satan and demonic ways But to condemn all Vineyards is wrong. I do not condone PK nor do I condone Laughing or Barking or the handling of snakes or any other weird thing men come up with . But I will tell you one thing... I was raised Baptized, confirmed and a member of the Lutheran church. I was Baptized again to make a public statement of my commitment to Our Lord , at my sisters church which happened to be Baptist. I joined a Vineyard church maybe a year later and have learned more in one year about having a relationship with God and spiritual gifts than I had ever learned being Lutheran or Baptist. in my life time.
WWW: As a result of a search engine's results, I cam across your page. Just curious. By what authority is your interpretation of the Bible infallible?
EDITOR’S RESPONSE: Please show me where I said my interpretation is infallible. I do not claim that and detest the Roman Catholic church’s claim that when their pope speaks ex-cathedra that he is infallible.
Incidentally, if I wanted to make such a claim, I have as much of a scriptural right to do so as does the pope.
WWW: I happened on your web site and was interested in what you said and what you discovered. Is there anyway you can mail some of this to me. I have no working printer and would like to help my church understand also.
I have been saved over 30 years, preaching about 30 and have been a strong defender of our KJV Bible ever since. Thank God for men like you that are "hid in the caves" to help.
FLORIDA: My brother, ____________, a retired Baptist Minister, would like to be placed the mailing list for The Grace Proclamator and Promulgator. He has pastored over the past 50 plus years and has retired with his wife to ___________ Florida. I loaned him my copies of the paper that had Bro. Settlemoir's articles in them and he was very much impressed and has made it into a little booklet just for himself and me so that we wouldn't need to use the whole copies when talking.
He attends __________ Baptist Church in ________, I think that's the name. It used to be __________ Baptist Church when he pastored there for about 10 years and the whole time he was there he was hounded by another minister telling him that the church he was pastoring was not properly established. When he left the two churches finally got together, but instead of growing it has lost members. When he moved back to the area he began to go there but isn't happy for they have no sense of reaching out.
But he enjoyed the paper and wanted to get it regularly. Please include him in the current mailing. Thank you and may God Bless you in all that you do in His service.
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This page was last updated Friday, March 04, 2011